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U.S. House passes Keystone Pipeline, could mean Alberta will be less reliant on B.C.

DH Vancouver Staff Nov 14, 2014 3:25 pm

Legislation to build the Keystone XL Pipeline was passed by the Republican run U.S. House of Representatives today. 

In a 252-161 vote, the bill went through and will move on to the Senate, which will require 60 votes needed for it to pass.

The Keystone XL Pipeline is an ongoing project that has several different phases to its expansion. The fourth phase is of proposed expansion is what the U.S. House passed today. If this plan goes through, a pipeline would be built in Alberta and will extend to Steele City, Nebraska. From Nebraska, the oil would then be transported to the Texas Gulf Coast, which is the world’s largest oil refiner.

There are several pipeline projects proposed in Canada, mainly due to the fact that the oil producing provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba) are landlocked, requiring oil transport systems in the form of pipelines.

Some of the current proposed Canadian pipeline projects include:

  • The TransCanada West to East Pipeline – This project would transport 1.1-million barrels of crude oil per day from Alberta and Saskatchewan to Quebec and New Brunswick.
  • The Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline –This pipeline would run from Bruderheim, Alberta to Kitimat, BC, where oil would then be transported to Asian oil markets.
  • The Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion which would run from Alberta to Burnaby BC, where small tankers would transport oil down the western coast. If built, the pipeline would transport 890,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

If the fourth phase of the Keystone Pipeline is built, 850,000 barrels of oil will be transported to the US per day. Prime Minster Stephen Harper is a supporter of the pipeline and with a current Republican majority in the U.S. House, and a possible Senate approval, the possibilities of the pipeline project may take a step closer to being built.

However, President Obama has been more skeptical and has indicated that he could use his veto to stop Congress’ approval process.

The pipeline will allow Alberta to be less reliant on getting its oil products into global markets through B.C. pipelines to the West Coast ports, which has been a subject of immense controversy.


Feature Image: Jonathan Nafzger / Shutterstock

DH Vancouver Staff
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