NEW YORK The delay in
approving TransCanada Corp.s proposed Keystone XL
pipeline has significantly hurt manufacturers tied to the
industry, the senior executive of a valve maker testified
during a hearing on a proposed law that would expedite approval
of the controversial project (
amm.com, April 4).
"When the U.S. government failed
to move forward with the Keystone XL pipeline, many of the
large (oil sands) projects (in western Canada) were put on hold
or canceled," Keith F. Stelter, president and co-owner of
Niles, Mich.-based Delta Industrial Valves Inc., said in
voicing his support of the Northern Route Approval Act.
Building the Keystone XL
pipeline would be a boon for the regions oil industry,
with Delta likely "doubling in size over the next 10 years" if
the project were approved, he said.
Stelter also raised concerns
that the United States refusal to approve the pipeline
has led the Canadian government to allow China, the other large
potential customer of Alberta crude, to invest more in the oil
sector in the western part of Canada.
"This is, or should be, very
concerning to the U.S. government," he said, citing as a
precedent the move by Chinese companies to scoop up a large
number of copper and nickel projects in Canada.
However, opponents of the
Keystone XL pipeline counter that the domestic market will
likely remain the most viable outlet for oil sands crude, as
two planned pipelines to Canadas western coast have a
"less than 50-percent chance" of being built due to
environmental and right-of-way concerns, according to Mark
Jaccard, a professor at the School of Resource and
Environmental Management at Burnaby, British Columbia-based
Simon Fraser University.
Opponents of the pipeline also
contend that, contrary to an opinion voiced in the U.S. State
Departments recent draft supplemental environmental
impact statement for the rerouted Keystone XL pipeline (
amm.com, March 4), oil sands producers need the
pipeline to keep their operations profitable and develop new
fields, Anthony Swift, an attorney with the New York-based
Natural Resources Defense Council, said.
Getting a barrel of crude oil to
the Gulf Coast from Alberta currently costs producers about
$31, while pipeline costs would only be $8 to $9.50 per barrel,
he said, also agreeing that the Keystone XL project remains the
most likely pipeline to be built.