What is the Fate of Keystone XL?

With a Republican president in the White House, all may not be lost for the TransCanada project

December 02, 2016

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Donald Trump’s victory could be bittersweet for Keystone XL hopes

Twenty-five. That’s how many percentage points U.S. President-elect Donald Trump says he would tax from the profits of a revived Keystone XL pipeline when he takes office next month.

“Twenty-five percent of the profits—forever” is how he described, last January, what is essentially his price of admission should TransCanada want to revisit the years of permitting applications required for its initial bids under President Barack Obama.

While Trump is decidedly pro-Keystone XL, his legally dubious profit-taking plan is part of his stated strategy for “American energy dominance,” as outlined during his presidential campaign. The plan appears to ignore the fact that a substantial proportion of the oil that was to travel the completed Keystone XL was American crude from the Bakken, in addition to oil from the Canadian oil sands.

TransCanada has indicated that it remains committed to taking up the Keystone cause with the new Republican president, and the pipeline has been cause for renewed discussion within the energy industry on both sides of the border. On the morning after Trump’s election win, former U.S. ambassador to Canada David Wilkins told a Toronto talk radio host “I think the light just went from red to green for Keystone.”

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