APPROVAL OF ALTERNATE KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE ROUTE CHANGES CALCULUS FOR TRANSCANADA, LANDOWNERS

Last week the Nebraska Public Service Commission narrowly approved a route across nebraska for the new Keystone XL pipeline. The approval was a curveball for TransCanada though, that's because it wasn't the route they had favored. The approved route runs further east of the favored route, is five miles longer, and will require TransCanada to consider delays and extra costs of adjustng their route for the third time now. The PSC approved the alternative route so it would run by the already existing Keystone pipeline, this would make it easier for the company to monitor both lines and respond to any situations that may arise. There are also questions of whether the pipeline is still financially viable, especially with the additional costs of a new route. When TransCanada originally proposed the line in 2008, oil was trading for $150 a barrel, now it is around $50 a barrel. This has resulted in some major oil companies leaving the tar sands region in pursuit of cheaper more easily accessible oil. However Jeff Share, editor of the Houston-based Pipeline & Gas Journal of Houston, has said the XL's position has improved slightly. Other major pipeline plans have been canceled which has improved demand for the Keystone XL.