In an ironic twist, just hours after we discussed the record capital outflow from Canada, resulting from the plunge in oil prices and the mothballing of Canada's energy industry, Obama's long-desired goal of killing the Keystone XL pipeline has finally come true.
Moments ago, the WSJ reported that Alberta-based Transcanada asked to suspend its U.S. permit application, "throwing the politically fraught project into an indefinite state of limbo, beyond the 2016 U.S. elections."
Calgary, Alberta-based TransCanada Corp. sent a letter to the State Department, which reviews cross-border pipelines, to suspend its application while the company goes through a state review process in Nebraska it had previously resisted.
“In order to allow time for certainty regarding the Nebraska route, TransCanada requests that the State Department pause in its review of the Presidential Permit application for Keystone XL,” the company said in the suspension request reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. “This will allow a decision on the Permit to be made later based on certainty with respect to the route of the pipeline.”
The WSJ correctly notes that "the move comes in the face of an expected rejection by the Obama administration and low oil prices that are sapping business interests in Canada’s oil reserves." Clearly the former was never an issue before, however the collapse in oil prices and the resultant plunge in CapEx spending means that the pipeline no longer made much economic sense.