JON E. DOUGHERTY, NEWSROOM AMERICA
A railroad largely owned by billionaire Warren Buffett stands to benefit financially from a decision by the Obama administration to reject a major oil pipeline project that would have stretched 1,700 miles south from Canada to refineries in Texas.
Bloomberg News reported Tuesday that Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC is among U.S. and Canadian railroads that stand to gain from the U.S. State Department’s rejection last week of the Keystone XL pipeline project. Buffett is a long-time political and financial supporter of Obama.
“Whatever people bring to us, we’re ready to haul,” Krista York-Wooley, a spokeswoman for Burlington Northern, a unit of Buffett’s Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc., investment house, told Bloomberg. If the pipeline deal falls through, she added, “we’re here to haul.”
The State Department rejected TransCanada’s permit to build the pipeline on Jan. 18, saying a congressionally imposed deadline of Feb. 21 to study the project was not enough time.
TransCanada has said it would reapply for a route that avoids an environmentally sensitive region in Nebraska, but the Canadian government has also said it will consider selling its oil to China as a way to diversity its energy outlets.
Canadian Natural Resource Minister Joe Oliver said relying less on the U.S. would help strengthen the country’s “financial security.”
The “decision by the Obama administration underlines the importance of diversifying and expanding our markets, including the growing Asian market,” Oliver told reporters last week.
If completed, the Keystone XL project would transport about 700,000 barrels of oil a day from oil sands regions in Alberta to refineries in Texas.
Some analysts believe the pipeline project will eventually move forward, Bloomberg reported, noting that pipeline shipping costs less than moving oil by rail. Also, a shortage of transport rail cars could also make the pipeline more attractive.
© 2012 Newsroom America.