Obama Administration Denies Keystone XL Permit
The Obama administration has decided it will not permit the controversial construction of the Keystone Xl oil pipeline from Canada before February 21, according to insiders.
In light of the need for additional environmental reviews of the new proposed path of the pipeline through Nebraska, the government cannot and will not accelerate the permitting process—especially when there isn't even an alternate route option on the table.
"It's a fallacy to suggest that the president should sign into law something when there isn't even an alternate route identified in Nebraska and when the review process is" not yet done, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday. "There was an attempt to short-circuit the review process in a way that does not allow the kind of careful consideration of all the competing criteria here that needs to be done."
SEE OTHER TOP STORIES IN THE ENERGY DIGITAL CONTENT NETWORK
This doesn't mean, however, that the project has been called off altogether. The final decision will just be pushed until early 2013 after the election. However, the State Department's permitting process only applies to the portion of the pipeline that crosses an international border line, so sources tell The Huffington Post that TransCanada could build a shovel-ready southern portion of the pipeline between Oklahoma and Texas without more approvals.
TransCanada also says it is in fact working with Nebraska authorities to find an alternative route, but that kind of environmental approval could take another nine months to process once it's determined. Despite fierce opposition, backers of the project and TransCanada continue to indicate that they're not giving up.
"If it is rejected, TransCanada can come back and apply again," said Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, international program director at the Natural Resources Defense Council. "But the whole process starts again then."
Environmentalists fear the pipeline puts important aquifers at risk, while proponents argue for job creation and energy security. However, the dent the pipeline's construction could make in the economy or in America's large oil supply demands are somewhat vague. Is it really worth it? There are risks and valid arguments on both sides. The only sure thing for now is that the struggle will continue to run in circles.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.