Because the Pipeline Keystone XL project is so controversial

The long-delayed Keystone XL from TransCanada Corp. is an $ 8 billion project to build an oil pipeline linking Alberta in Canada to the Gulf Coast coasts in the United States. He faced years of objections from environmentalists, but he was finally approved by US President Donald Trump. The project has now hit another checkpoint in US courts.

1. What is the project?

The Keystone XL pipeline stretched for 1,197 miles (1,897 km) from Alberta through three states – Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska – before connecting to an existing network that supplies crude oil to the Gulf coast. The line would bring up to 830,000 barrels of oil a day.

2. Why do environmentalists object?

In part because of the nature of the fuel – derived from what are called "oil sands" by oil executives and "bitumen" by geologists. Its production and extraction emit more greenhouse gases than conventional oil and, environmentalists say, would add unacceptable to global warming. They also highlight the risks to water supply and the overall oil pipeline environment across the United States. More generally, they argue, the Keystone XL pipeline, paving the way for more bitumen production, would help stop oil dependence for decades and delay a transition to renewable energy.

3. When did Trump approve the project?

In 2017. His predecessor, Barack Obama, had rejected a permit for the project in 2015 after eight years of angry discussions. Then, a few days after the settlement, Trump announced actions to advance the pipeline. It was not the end of the battle, though. Environmental enemies have promised to meet legal challenges. Furthermore, TransCanada needs state approvals to start work.

4. Who is opposed?

Nebraska created legal obstacles for TransCanada during the initial review of the project. But it was a federal court in Montana that suspended the project in November, stating that it requires a further environmental review by the US State Department. The ruling came in lawsuits brought by the indigenous environmental network, the River Alliance and the Northern Plains Resource Council. TransCanada has joined the litigation to defend the approval of the permit.

5. What is the position of Canada?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau encourages the construction of new oil pipelines – including Keystone XL – but has also taken steps to do more on climate issues, hoping to conquer oil sands and oil pipeline opponents. Canadian oil must sell at discounted prices to US crude oil due to transportation constraints.

6. How dirty is the fuel?

The bituminous bitumen bituminous fuel fuel leads to the release of more carbon than conventional fuel, partly because more energy is needed to extract and refine it. A Canadian group of clean energy, the Pembina Institute, said the difference could reach 37 percent; The industry and the government of Alberta say it is more like 6 percent. Oil companies say coal plants pump a lot more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere; environmentalists say that the appropriate comparison is with conventional oil because, unlike coal, both types of crude oil are mainly used to produce transportation fuel.

7. What is Trump's position?

Trump stated at the time of his decision Keystone that it was a step towards making "the process much simpler for oil companies and for all those who want to do business in the United States".

-With the assistance of Dan Murtaugh.

To contact journalists about this story: Grant Clark in Singapore on gclark@bloomberg.net; Andrew Harris in Washington on aharris16@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at akwiatkowsk2@bloomberg.net, Ramsey Al-Rikabi, Paul Geitner

© 2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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