BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - The White House plan to seek alternate routes for a Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline presents a tangle of new problems for the project - with the potential to sink it altogether.
Shifting the route around a major aquifer could mean more perilous stream crossings and put the line closer to populated areas. Major changes also risk alienating pipeline supporters, who tout the economic benefits of creating thousands of jobs.
Some observers said Friday the dilemma could force TransCanada to bypass U.S. markets and ship fuel directly to China.
The company's proposed $7 billion Keystone XL line would ship up to 700,000 barrels of crude daily from Alberta's tar sands to U.S. refineries.
Following complaints from Nebraska, federal officials plan to study new routes to avoid parts of the sprawling Ogallala aquifer.