State Department to Approve TransCanada Corporation’s Keystone XL Pipeline

After years of uncertainty, delays, and even a Presidential veto, it appears TransCanada Corporation (TSX:TRP)(NYSE:TRP) will finally get the green light to build its hotly-contested Keystone XL pipeline.

The extension, which will take Alberta crude through Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska, faced fierce opposition from farmers and environmentalists alike. Critics were opposed to the pipeline’s proposed path, which would take it over the Sandhills in Nebraska. Farmers were also concerned about the impact of a leak on groundwater supplies.

Then-President Barack Obama gave into the pressure, and vetoed the project on November 6, 2015. This was despite the long review time and initial approval by the State Department. In addition, the U.S. generally approves pipeline proposals. It was out of character, in other words.

New President Donald Trump vowed to give Keystone XL another chance, signing an executive order overturning President Obama’s block in January. This gave TransCanada the right to reapply, which it did. A decision is expected either on Friday or Monday.

TransCanada confirmed the news, telling Business News Network it is expecting news by Monday. A company spokesperson said “we do anticipate a decision by the State [Department] during the 60 days they have been given. At the moment, we continue to work with the Administration on our Presidential Permit application.”

TransCanada shares did move higher on the news, increasing $0.73 each or 1.2% in early afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange to $62.23. Shares are close to their 52-week high of $65.24.