Keystone XL Owner TransCanada Wins Bid For Underwater Gas Pipeline Across Gulf of Mexico

More ways to avoid NEPA?

Source: desmogblog.com

TransMexico? Keystone XL Owner TransCanada Wins Bid For Underwater Gas Pipeline Across Gulf of Mexico

“It is unclear if Sur de Texas-Tuxpan will require a presidential permit, though, given the precedent set in the Wild Earth Nation, Et Al v. U.S. Department of State and Enbridge Energy case.  In that case, the Judge allowed Enbridge to break up its tar sands diluted bitumen (“dilbit”)-carrying Alberta Clipper (Line 67) pipeline into multiple pieces — helped along with off-the-books and therefore unofficial State Department authorization — avoiding the more onerous presidential and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) permit review process altogether.”

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by Steve Horn

TransCanada, owner of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline currently being contested in federal court and in front of a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) legal panel, has won a $2.1 billion joint venture bid with Sempra Energy for a pipeline to shuttle gas obtained from hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale basin across the Gulf of Mexico and into Mexico.

The 500-mile long Sur de Texas-Tuxpan pipeline, as reported on previously by DeSmog, is part of an extensive pipeline empire TransCanada is building from the U.S. to Mexico. The pipeline network is longer than the currently operating southern leg of the Keystone pipeline (now dubbed the Gulf Coast Pipeline).  Unlike Keystone XL, though, these piecemeal pipeline section bid wins have garnered little media attention or scrutiny beyond the business and financial press.

The Sur de Texas-Tuxpan proposed pipeline route avoids the drug cartel violence-laden border city of Matamoros by halting at Brownsville and then going underwater across the U.S.-Mexico border to Tuxpan.

After it navigates the 500-mile long journey, Sur de Texas-Tuxpan will flood Mexico’s energy grid with gas under a 25-year service contract. That energy grid, thanks to the efforts of the U.S. State Department under then-Secretary of State and current Democratic Party presumptive presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, has been privatized under constitutional amendments passed in 2013.

TransCanada and Sempra were the only bidders. TransCanada owns the joint venture with Sempra — coined the Infraestructura Marina del Golfo, Spanish for “marine infrastructure of the Gulf” — on a 60-percent basis.

“We are extremely pleased to further our growth plans in Mexico with one of the most important natural gas infrastructure projects for that country’s future,” Russ Girling, TransCanada’s president and CEO, said in a press release announcing the bid win. “This new project brings our footprint of existing assets and projects in development in Mexico to more than US$5 billion, all underpinned by 25-year agreements with Mexico’s state power company.”

State Department Role, FERC and Presidential Permits for Sur de Texas-Tuxpan

David Leiter, a campaign finance bundler for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and former chief-of-staff for then-U.S. Senator and current Secretary of State John Kerry, lobbied the White House and the U.S. State Department in 2013 and 2014 on behalf of Sempra Energy on gas exports-related issues.

Sempra has a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal on the northwest, Baja California coast of Mexico called Energía Costa Azul (“Blue Coast Energy”) LNGLeiter’s wife, Tamara Luzzatto, formerly served as chief-of-staff to then-U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Because the pipeline is set to carry natural gas, as opposed to oil, it does not need a U.S. State Department permit (though tacit and non-permitted unofficial approval could still prove important). Instead, it seemingly technically requires U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval, as well as a presidential permit.

It is unclear if Sur de Texas-Tuxpan will require a presidential permit, though, given the precedent set in the Wild Earth Nation, Et Al v. U.S. Department of State and Enbridge Energy case.

In that case, the Judge allowed Enbridge to break up its tar sands diluted bitumen (“dilbit”)-carrying Alberta Clipper (Line 67) pipeline into multiple pieces — helped along with off-the-books and therefore unofficial State Department authorization — avoiding the more onerous presidential and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) permit review process altogether.nergy case.

 

Read the rest of this story HERE.

7 comments on “Keystone XL Owner TransCanada Wins Bid For Underwater Gas Pipeline Across Gulf of Mexico

  1. At least its not a oil pipeline, from what I understand a gas line is easier to shut down than a oil pipeline. There was so much damage done to the environment when the pipeline blew out in the gulf that it still hasn’t completely recovered.

    Like

  2. SEMPRA

    California Firm Investigated for Links to Mexico Organized Crime: Reports
    Written by Patrick Corcoran
    Monday, 01 September 2014
    http://www.insightcrime.org/news-analysis/us-investigates-california-sempra-mexico-organized-crime

    US authorities are investigating allegations that California energy company Sempra had links to Mexican criminal groups and bribed prominent Mexican politicians, according to media reports, raising questions about the role of US firms in supporting organized crime in the neighboring country.

    La Jornada and Proceso, among others, reported that the California firm Sempra Energy is under investigation by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for money laundering and links to organized crime.

    If true, this would be the second investigation into the firm by US officials in the last four years, stemming from a whistleblower complaint by a former Sempra compliance officer. The DHS is also looking into allegations that the company bribed high-ranking Mexican officials, and possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the news reports said.

    Liked by 1 person

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