The head of Canadian energy company TransCanada Corporation said in July that the timeline for U.S. approval of the multibillion-dollar Keystone XL crude oil pipeline will make the second half of 2015 start date of operations challenging, reports Bloomberg.
TransCanada is waiting on an environmental impact statement from the State Department, but the company still needs to wait on a 90-day review on whether the project is in the U.S. national interest.
“I hope a decision can be made this year,” TransCanada Corp. CEO Russ Girling, said.
If and when the $5.3 billion project is approved, the energy company would need 24 months to build the pipeline that would extend from Alberta, Canada, to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
President Barack Obama initially rejected the project in January 2012, citing concerns with its path through ecologically sensitive lands in Nebraska.
The company reapplied with a new Nebraska route last year and split the project in two, building the southern portion that doesn’t require a permit first.
Girling also said that the company may announce shortly it will go ahead with a separate link to transport oil to Canada’s Atlantic Coast.
Environmental groups are up in arms over the project and have been fighting to stop construction for years.
Recently, an environmental group, Friends of the Earth, uncovered what it said are several conflicts of interest with a company that the State Department used to conduct an environmental assessment of the pipeline. The group is calling for a new review over its findings.