The fate of the Keystone XL pipeline is back in the hands of Nebraska.
After years of hurdles and setbacks public hearings are underway in the state this week.
But is the project still worth pursuing?
Trevor Tombe, Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Calgary, said despite depressed oil prices, there is still a lot of forecast production.
“The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, for example, anticipates about another million-and-a-half barrels per day in Western Canadian production by 2030,” he said. “And so what we would need in order to carry that additional oil to market is not just Keystone XL, not just Trans Mountain, not just Line 3 but potentially all those three plus Energy East.”
He explained the economics of the pipeline still work.
“So, roughly speaking a pipeline would be able to carry oil to the Gulf Coast at half the price that rail cars would,” he said.
Tombe said the only forces which could ultimately shelve this project are land disputes, like in Nebraska in this case, or political pressure.
He added there is no guarantee the other proposed pipeline projects will happen, so, continuing with Keystone XL makes a lot of sense.