If approved, the Keystone XL pipeline would carry oil extracted
from Northern Alberta's oil sands to refineries and markets in
the United States. Vocal opponents of the project hope to convince
President Obama not to approve the project, but their chances seem
poor. The Canadian portion of the pipeline has already been
TransCanada describes the proposed Keystone
Gulf Coast Expansion Project as "an approximate[ly]
2,673-kilometre (1,661-mile), 36-inch crude oil pipeline that would
begin at Hardisty, Alberta and extend southeast through
Saskatchewan, Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. It would
incorporate a portion of the Keystone Pipeline (Phase II) through
Nebraska and Kansas to serve markets at Cushing, Oklahoma before
continuing through Oklahoma to a delivery point near existing
terminals in Nederland, Texas to serve the Port Arthur, Texas
marketplace." The final approval required is a political
In August 2011, the US Department of State released its final
Environmental Impact Statement for the project, which concluded
that it would have no significant adverse impact. The Canadian
section of the pipeline was approved by the National Energy Board last year. The NEB found
the proposed pipeline to be in the public interest and accepted
that it would connect Western Canadian crude oil to the U.S. Gulf
Coast, a large, long term and strategic market, bringing economic
and other benefits to Canadians.
Supporters argue that refusing to approve the line will not cut
American oil use or Canadian oil exports; America will simply buy
elsewhere, and Canada will sell elsewhere. Given Obama's urgent
need to create jobs, his recent retreat on ozone standards, the
State Department report, the Canadian approval and Republican
strength in Congress, it seems unlikely that Obama will turn down
the Keystone line.
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Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federation comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Canada's judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches of Government.
The Government of Alberta recently announced a number of policy changes that will impact the Alberta Electricity Market, composed of its generators, transmitters, distributors, retailers, electricity consumers and wholesale electricity market.
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