TransCanada Corporation (“TransCanada”) announced on February 27, 2012 that it has sent a letter to the U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) informing DOS of its intention to reapply for a Presidential Permit in the near future for the Keystone XL Project. TransCanada will supplement this application with an alternative route in Nebraska that avoids the ecologically sensitive Sandhills area once this alternative route is determined.
TransCanada also informed DOS that the southern leg of the Keystone XL Project which runs from Cushing to the U.S. Gulf Coast will proceed independently of the Presidential Permit process because the Gulf Coast Project has its own independent value to the marketplace and no international border is involved. The approximate cost of the Gulf Coast Project is US$2.3 billion and subject to regulatory approvals, would likely be in service in mid to late 2013. Jay Carney, a White House spokesman, announced that the administration welcomed the decision on the southern leg, and would help speed up the permit process.