TransCanada Corp. said it supports proposed legislation within the state of Nebraska to move the Keystone XL pipeline project forward.
The legislation, introduced Nov. 14 in the Nebraska state legislature, if passed will ensure the pipeline route will be developed in Nebraska that avoids the Sand Hills region, an area which has caused environmental concerns due to the states’ underground water supply.
“I am please to tell you that the positive conversations we have had with Nebraska leaders have resulted in legislation that respects the concerns of Nebraskans and supports the development of the keystone XL pipeline,” said Alex Pourbaix, TransCanada’s president, energy, and oil pipelines.
He added that he confirmed the route will be changed and Nebraska will play an important role in determining the final route.
The pipeline expansion project was postponed Nov. 10 when the U.S. State Department said it will take until early 2013 to examine different routes for the pipeline to avoid the Sand Hills region.
Working together with the State Department, Nebraska’s Department of Environmental Quality will conduct an environmental assessment to define the best location for Keystone XL in Nebraska.
“We will cooperate with these agencies and provide them with the information they need to complete a thorough review that addresses concerns regarding the Sandhills region,” Pourbaix said.
“[The] proposed legislation is a critical step in making this happen,” Pourbaix added. “The safe and reliable operation of our pipelines and all of our infrastructure has been TransCanada’s priority for 60 years.”
It is expected that once the pipeline is operational, Nebraska could see more than $150 million in property taxes to county and other local governments during the operating life of the pipeline—money that could be used to build new roads, schools and hospitals.
Construction of the pipeline in Nebraska will consist of five or six new pump stations and more than 275 miles of new pipeline. The project is expected to employ more than 2,200 constructions workers in the state.
The steel pipeline will include 21,000 sensors monitoring the length by satellite 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with data refreshed every five seconds. If there is a problem, automatic shut-off valves can be activated in minutes to shut off the flow of oil.
TransCanada’s operations in North America include natural gas and oil pipelines, power generation and gas storage facilities including 380 cubic feet of storage capacity.