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Jan 24, 2017

TransCanada to reapply for Keystone XL permit after Trump order


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CALGARY -- TransCanada Corp. (TRP.TO) says it will reapply to build its Keystone XL project following U.S. President Donald Trump's move to help advance construction of the pipeline.

TransCanada said in a statement Tuesday afternoon it appreciates Trump's invitation to reapply for a permit for the pipeline which would run from Canada to Nebraska where it would connect to existing lines running to U.S. refineries on the Gulf Coast.

"We are currently preparing the application and intend to do so," said spokesman Terry Cunha in the release.

"KXL creates thousands of well-paying construction jobs and would generate tens of millions of dollars in annual property taxes to counties along the route as well as more than $3 billion to the U.S. GDP."

He said Keystone represents the "safest, most environmentally sound" way to deliver energy from Canada to America.

The statement did not offer any comment on Trump's vow to renegotiate terms of the Keystone XL agreement to better benefit the United States or his notice Tuesday that all the steel in U.S. pipelines should be made in the U.S.

Nor did the statement say what will happen with a $15 billion challenge under NAFTA launched by TransCanada a year ago in response to former U.S. president Barack Obama rejecting the pipeline in late 2015.

Obama declared Keystone would have undercut U.S. efforts to clinch a global climate change deal that was a centrepiece of his environmental legacy.

An order signed by Trump on Tuesday encourages U.S. federal regulatory agencies to respond quickly to an application by the company.

The Calgary-based Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers welcomed Trump's order, pointing out that building Keystone XL will be an economic step forward for Canada, the U.S. and North American energy security.

"As our largest trading partner, the relationship that Canadian producers share with the U.S. is a critical one," said CAPP president Tim McMillan.

"When given the option between granting access for Canadian oil to international markets and continuing to meet demand with Saudi Arabian, Venezuelan, Iraqi and Nigerian oil, the choice is obvious."

CAPP pointed out that Canada exported 3.2-million barrels of oil per day to the U.S. in October 2016, accounting for 42 per cent of all U.S. crude imports.

It added that oil pipeline capacity from Canada will be insufficient to handle increases in production expected by 2020.