The Associated Press
HOUSTON, Texas —
A Canadian company that wants to build an oil pipeline from Alberta’s tar sands region to Texas refineries now has a final permit for the Gulf Coast portion of the project.
TransCanada announced Friday that construction on the 485-mile section of pipeline would begin in the coming weeks.
“Receiving this final, key Army Corps permit for the Gulf Coast Project is very positive news. TransCanada is now poised to put approximately 4,000 Americans to work constructing the $2.3-billion pipeline that will be built in three distinct ‘spreads’ or sections,” Russ Girling, TransCanada’s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.
President Barack Obama encouraged the company to pursue the segment that will run from a refinery in Cushing to Texas after he rejected the broader plan, saying it needed to be rerouted around Nebraska’s sensitive Sand Hills region. For that project, TransCanada needs presidential approval because it crosses an international border.
The shorter portion only requires permits from state and federal agencies.
The shorter line will help relieve a bottleneck at the Oklahoma refinery. but doesn’t fulfill TransCanada’s broader goal of transporting more Canadian crude to U.S. refineries.
Pipeline advocates say that would help decrease U.S. reliance on oil from unstable, sometimes unfriendly, countries, and provide much-needed jobs to an economy suffering from 8.2 percent unemployment.