The Canadian company already has built a pipeline to bring oil to refineries in the Midwest. It also extends to the oil storage hub in Cushing, a section that went into service in February 2011.
TransCanada planned to add another line from Alberta to carry crude produced in the oil sands to refineries near the Gulf of Mexico, but the project was rejected by the Obama administration last month when Republicans set a deadline on the decision as officials sought to negotiate a new route through Nebraska’s Oglalla Aquifer.
TransCanada announced Monday it is re-applying for a federal permit for the transcontinental pipeline, but it intends to proceed immediately with the planned section between Cushing and the Gulf.
Oklahoma producers had expressed hope that the southern portion of the Keystone XL project would be completed.
“We need the pipeline, whether it brings Canadian oil or not,” Mike Cantrell, president of Domestic Energy Producers Alliance, said last month.
Gov. Mary Fallin applauded TransCanada’s announcement on Monday.
“Connecting Cushing to oil markets in the Gulf Coast will provide both an immediate economic jolt to the state of Oklahoma as well as a long term boost to our energy sector,” Fallin said. “Construction of the pipeline alone will create 1,200 jobs, while increasing access to the important markets along the coast will help energy producers for many years to come.
“This is an important, positive step forward for Oklahoma, and my thanks go out to TransCanada for its leadership on this issue.”
Environmental groups like the Sierra Club continue to oppose the project, which they insist will put Americans at risk as “the world’s dirtiest oil” heads to foreign markets.
“This new proposal fails to address the rights of property holders along the pipeline’s proposed path who fear a foreign company using eminent domain to take their land and place a pipeline whose predecessor, the Keystone Pipeline, had over a dozen significant leaks in its first year of operation,” said David Ocamb, director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Sierra Club. ”Nor does it address Oklahoma citizen’s rights to clean water and clean air.”
Chris Casteel has a story up on NewsOK.