As environmental groups hail President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline, billionaire and prominent Democratic donor Warren Buffett (photo) is set to reap a handsome reward from the decision. Buffett’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC is a notable beneficiary — among other U.S. and Canadian railroads — of the move, as it is one of the railroads that will transport the Canadian oil if the pipeline isn’t approved.
In a decision sponsored by Obama, the U.S. State Department denied TransCanada’s permit on January 18, asserting that the February 21 deadline that congressional Republicans imposed was not enough time to examine TransCanada’s proposal. The company assured it would review the pipeline’s current blueprint and re-apply with a route that avoids certain regions of Nebraska that Obama and environmentalists claim are "ecologically sensitive."
According to the State Department, with some expansion, railroads will be able to transport all new oil extracted by western Canada through 2030. "Whatever people bring us, we’re ready to haul," Krista York-Wooley, a Burlington Northern spokeswoman, affirmed. If Keystone XL "doesn’t happen, we’re here to haul."
The $7 billion pipeline, which would transport crude oil from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast, would funnel 700,000 barrels a day of oil into the U.S., while creating a reported 20,000 direct jobs and hundreds of thousands of indirect jobs.
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