On January 18, 2012, the U.S. State Department recommended to
President Obama that the Presidential Permit for TransCanada
Corp.'s Keystone XL pipeline be denied. President Obama
concurred with this recommendation, which according to a State
Department spokesperson was "predicated on the fact that the
Department does not have sufficient time to obtain the information
necessary to assess whether the project, in its current state, is
in the national interest".
The State Department's reference to the time constraint
refers to the Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act
of 2011 ("Act"), passed by
Congress and signed by President Obama on December 23,
2011. Subsection 501(a) of the Act provided
that the President had 60 days from the enactment of the
Act to issue a Presidential Permit for the Keystone XL
pipeline. Under Subsection 501(b), the President did not have
to issue the Presidential Permit if he determined that Keystone XL
was not in the national interest.
Had the Presidential Permit been granted under Subsection
501(a), Subsection 501(d) would have required the Permit to provide
for a reconsideration of the route of Keystone XL within the
State of Nebraska, and to provide a review period for the new
route. Keystone XL's route through Nebraska has been a
controversial issue due to its location relative to the
heavily-utilized Ogallala aquifer.
On November 14, 2011, TransCanada entered an agreement with the State of Nebraska to amend
Keystone XL's route to bypass the Sandhills region that sits
atop the Ogallala aquifer. That development followed the State
Department's ruling that required TransCanada to examine new
routes, and President Obama's announcement indicating that his
decision would be delayed until after the 2012 Presidential
Following President Obama's announcement,
TransCanada stated that it intended to re-apply for a Presidential
Permit and expected the new application to be processed in an
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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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