Tax bill raises questions on Keystone XL

July 16, 2012 at 10:18 AM
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OMAHA, July 16 (UPI) -- A lower-than-expected tax bill from the original Keystone oil pipeline in Nebraska shows the company behind the project is suspect, an advocacy group said.

Nebraska tax records indicate TransCanada for 2012 will pay around $2.2 million to the eight counties traversed by the Keystone oil pipeline. That's about half of what the company projected.

Jane Kleeb, a campaigner from advocacy group Bold Nebraska, said the shortfall shows TransCanada can't be trusted if it gets the nod for the expanded Keystone XL oil pipeline next year.

"TransCanada's business model is based on deceiving and distracting us with fancy ads, dollar signs and false promises," she was quoted by the Omaha World-Herald as saying.

The company, however, said the tax bill for 2013 should quadruple to $8.5 million. Keystone runs from Canada to the oil trading hub in Cushing, Okla. State officials said parts of the project were under construction last year and not subject to taxes.

Bold Nebraska is one of the group's opposing TransCanada's Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Supporters of Keystone XL, planned from Alberta to the southern U.S. coast, describe it as a "shovel-ready" project that will bring jobs and energy security to the United States. Critics say the type of oil designated for the project, so-called tar sands, is more harmful to the environment than conventional crude oil.

TransCanada needs a U.S. permit for Keystone XL because it would cross the U.S-Canadian border.

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