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Energy & Environment

Keystone Pipeline Construction to Begin in Texas

A Nebraska construction site for the Keystone Pipeline. TransCanada announced it will commence building the southern portion of the pipeline separately.

Just days after a Texas farmer’s restraining order against Keystone XL pipeline builder TransCanada was lifted, the Alberta company announced it is starting work on a portion of the pipeline stretching from Oklahoma to Texas.

The company announced today it was reapplying for a permit to route the pipeline through Nebraska. Concerns over the route through Nebraska’s environmentally-sensitive Sand Hills region lead in part to rejection of TransCanada’s earlier application.

But TransCanada also announced it would commence building the southernmost portion of the pipeline -- from Cushing, Oklahoma to Texas ports at the Gulf of Mexico -- while it waits on permitting for the northern portion of the line, which requires presidential approval.

In a statement, TransCanada says:

The company also informed the [U.S. State Department] that what had been the Cushing to U.S. Gulf Coast portion of the Keystone XL Project has its own independent value to the marketplace and will be constructed as a stand-alone Gulf Coast Project, not part of the Presidential Permit process. The approximate cost is US$2.3 billion and subject to regulatory approvals, we anticipate the Gulf Coast Project to be in service in mid to late 2013.

KUT News reported this weekend that a temporary restraining order prohibiting TransCanada from exercising imminent domain powers over a Texas farm was dissolved Friday. A lawsuit challenging TransCanada’s request to trench land on farmer Trigg Crawford’s land is now scheduled to start April 30.

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