Still Awaiting the Keystone Decision, Oil Moves On

Categories: Environment

Photo by shannonpatrick17
The Keystone is still in regulatory limbo.
Oil industry types and environmentalists alike have been arguing about the Keystone XL Pipeline for years now. Oil people wanted the Transcanada line put in because it would tote barrels worth of bitumen, the sticky black tar sands crude, thousands of miles from Canada to the Gulf Coast. But now, despite the eagerness of Canadian officials to get the Keystone running, "Texas tea" is providing an easy distraction for the lack of that Keystone crude.

Texas refineries were outfitted specifically to process this type of crude, and environmentalists and landowners living along the proposed route of the pipeline were all set to oppose the whole thing, and that's pretty much where things have been as the president has dodged making a decision for a while now and the State Department's evaluation keeps getting delayed (State has to approve the line because it crosses the U.S. border.)

The scuttlebutt is that a decision will be made by the end of this year or early next year, but the oil industry - like time and office doughnuts - waits for no one. Thanks to shale plays in Texas and across the country, U.S. oil is filling in that Keystone shaped hole in their production, according to Thomas Tunstall, director of the University of Texas at San Antonio Institute for Economic Development, the outfit that comes out with economic impact reports on the Eagle Ford Shale play in South Texas.

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