Transcanada questions Nebraska pipeline law
CALGARY — Transcanada Corp. says Nebraska lawmakers will have a tough time introducing bills to regulate locating pipelines in the state that don’t just target the company’s Keystone XL project, rendering any resulting legislation unconstitutional.
“That’s a very difficult, highbar hurdle for them to get over,” the Calgary firm’s CEO Russ Girling said Tuesday.
“Basically to thread the needle between not having legislation that is so narrow that it just captures our pipeline but broad enough that it can be thought of in terms of all the other implications it would have on the state with respect to oil and gas development, infrastructure development, no matter what that would be, through the [ecologically sensitive] Sand Hills.”
Nebraska senators began a special session Tuesday to discuss introducing legislation that would give the state regulatory oversight of oil and gas pipeline siting, so it can force Transcanada to reroute its proposed pipeline away from freshwater resources.
“Any legislation is going to be a very tricky and difficult thing to implement,” Girling said on a conference call to discuss TransCanada’s financial results.
Transcanada’s third-quarter operating profit rose 1.8 per cent on higher electricity prices in Western Canada and new pipelines, including the first phase of its Keystone system. Third-quarter net income rose to $384 million, or 55 cents a share, from $377 million, or 54 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.
Earnings were $417 million, or 59 cents a share, up 12 per cent from $374 million, or 54 cents a share. That beat the average estimate among analysts of 57 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters. Revenue rose 12 per cent to $2.39 billion from $2.13 billion.
Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman said he will do everything in the state’s power to push for an alternative route for the $7-billion, 2,700-kilometre Keystone line.