No White House decision on Keystone this year – TransCanada Corp.

TransCanada Corp (NYSE:TRP) no longer believes the US President will issue a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline this year, the company announced on Wednesday.

The Department of State had said it could complete a review of the Presidential Permit application by the first quarter of 2013, which didn’t happen.

“The Corporation anticipates that its previously disclosed expected in-service date of 2013 will be similarly delayed,” TransCanada noted in a statement filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

On its website, the Department of State notes that it is “on track […] to make a determination by the end of this year.”

President Barack Obama has been facing a lot of pressure from Canada, with Prime Minister Stephen Harper lobbying heavily to get his approval on the $7 billion pipeline. But Obama’s disparaging comments lately have cast much doubt on whether he will give the green light. 

Obama thinks TrasnCanada’s job creation numbers are exaggerated. He also says his government wouldn’t support the pipeline if it were to “significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.”

Since the State Department is in charge of letting Obama know if this will increase carbon emissions, the decision rests with Secretary of State John Kerry. Pipeline opponents, including the Sierra Club, see Kerry as a strong proponent for climate change regulation. 

Meanwhile, the company told Reuters reporters on Wednesday that the southern portion of the pipeline is 95% complete and would start up by the end of 2013.

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