Keystone builder quietly making plans for Obama rejection

Keystone builder quietly making plans for Obama rejection
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The company hoping to build the Keystone XL Pipeline is quietly planning for President Obama to deny the permit it needs.

TransCanada Corporation has been publicly bullish about the Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline’s chances, but internally is expecting a rejection and plotting its next steps, the Canadian Press reported, citing people close to the project.

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Based on signals sent both privately and publicly from the White House, TransCanada officials are all but certain it won’t get the presidential permit.

“There’s a broad acceptance that the decision’s been made,” a person close to the project told the Canadian Press, saying that multiple administration employees have indicated that it will be rejected.

“The rumour is that the decision to deny has been made, and they’re just waiting for the right time and venue,” he said.

TransCanada would probably wait a while after the decision to announce its next steps.

One of the top strategies TransCanada is considering is to sue the United States through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Canadian Press said. It is likely to use provisions that protect companies from discrimination, unfair or arbitrary treatment and expropriation.

But any challenge would be a long shot, since the United States has never lost a case in NAFTA arbitration.

The White House has been mum on how Obama will rule on the pipeline’s permit to cross the border. But Sen. John HoevenJohn HoevenCongress nears deal on help for miners Overnight Energy: Lawmakers work toward deal on miners’ benefits Congress nears deal on help for miners MORE (R-N.D.) recently said Obama will reject it in August, citing unnamed sources.