The Canadian company whose proposed oil pipeline from Alberta to Texas was halted by President Obama on environmental grounds is proposing an alternative that avoids some of the most sensitive areas -- and eases concerns the company will scrap the project altogether in favor of a pipeline to the coast of British Columbia.
If the newly re-routed Keystone XL Pipeline proposal is approved, it will employ an estimated 9,000 Americans during construction at a total cost of about $5.3 billion, TransCanada Corporation (TSX:TRP) said.
The Calgary, Alberta, company said Wednesday it submitted to Nebraska officials an alternative route for the pipeline that responds to concerns from environmentalists and Nebraska residents. Specifically, the newly proposed route avoids the state's Sandhill region and land around the Clarks Well Head Protection Area.
"TransCanada has been working with the Nebraska DEQ, landowners, engineering surveyors and environmental survey crews since we presented our initial route analysis in April," TransCanada CEO Russ Girling said in a statement.
"Both the route identified in April and the current preferred alternative route can support the safe construction and operation of the pipeline."
A decision on the newly proposed route for the Keystone XL pipeline, which was delayed earlier this year by President Obama, is expected from the State Department early next year. The State Department must approve the project because it crosses the nation's border.
TransCanada Corporation (TSE:TRP) shares fell 17 cents to $44.71 in afternoon trading.