TransCanada Corp. announced last week the initiation of one of the largest NAFTA trade claims in history against the United States, valued at $15 billion. The Canadian owner of the Keystone XL pipeline also filed a lawsuit against the administration for costs and losses incurred for what it says was an arbitrary decision against the company.
President Obama rejected the Keystone Pipeline in November of 2015 after seven controversial years (five times longer than average) of study and consideration by the U.S. Department of State . Interestingly, the president’s denial of the proposal came in spite of the State Department reiterating expert opinion that the pipeline would be one of the safest built within the U.S., and also concluding that it “would not substantially worsen carbon pollution.” TransCanada had submitted a request to the Secretary of Transportation to halt the review process, days before the president’s denial. The 1,200-mile pipeline would have moved more than 800,000 barrels of crude oil a day from Alberta to Nebraska and the Gulf Coast. The project’s backers say it represented just the type of “shovel ready” projects the country needed and would have created of thousands of jobs and ensured the safe transportation of crude oil while environmental activists argued the president had to take steps to move America away from fossil fuels.
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