Moody's: Keystone XL could miss window

Nov. 13, 2012 at 6:06 AM
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NEW YORK, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to sign off on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, but it's not expected to be a quick process, ratings agency Moody's said.

Nebraska regulators recently published a draft evaluation report for the Keystone XL pipeline, saying a new route proposed by project company TransCanada avoids the ecologically sensitive Sand Hills.

Keystone XL supporters said the 36-inch diameter crude oil pipeline, which would stretch 875 miles from the U.S.-Canadian border to Steele City, Neb., would be a boost for the economy and energy security.

Following Obama's re-election, trade group American Petroleum Institute said the administration should sign off on the project "right off the bat."

Ratings agency Moody's, in a report on the election, said it expected Obama to approve the project.

"But approval will not be quick," energy news website Platts quoted the report as stating. "A prolonged permitting process risks missing the very oil price boom that inspired Keystone XL in the first place."

Critics accused Obama of dragging his feet on the project though concerns about the route through Nebraska impeded momentum. TransCanada this year started work on the Gulf Coast Project, the U.S. leg of the network.

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