A TransCanada natural gas pipeline in Manitoba exploded on Saturday, dealing the firm a potential setback in getting its Keystone XL pipeline approved by the U.S. government. Reports indicated that the explosion occurred near a town located about 15 miles south of Winnipeg. There were no injuries, but the area was evacuated as a precaution.
There has been increased pressure on the Obama Administration to allow the Canadian company to build a northern leg of its Keystone XL pipeline, which would deliver oil sands crude to Gulf Coast refineries. Last week, the Senate GOP sent the president a letter urging his administration to make a decision. Canadian leaders have become more vocal in pressing for a decision in recent weeks. Additionally, TransCanada’s CEO said Jan. 15 his company would increase its use of rail to transport crude if the pipeline is not approved. Secretary of State John Kerry has stated that the project is still under environmental review.
It remains to be seen whether or not the latest incident will have any bearing on the administration’s decision-making process.