Skip to content

TransCanada Fumbled in its Approach to Keystone Pipeline

Wall Street Journal: “On Wednesday, the State Department denied TransCanada’s request earlier this week to suspend its permit application for Keystone—a move that would have essentially punted the pipeline decision to after the 2016 elections. The Obama administration is widely expected to reject the proposed pipeline as soon as this week, ending a yearslong drama.”

“Interviews with more than two dozen people—including current and former TransCanada executives and government officials—suggest that the company fumbled its U.S. push for the pipeline by pursuing a politically naive public-relations strategy over the past seven years, and failing to play an aggressive role in shaping the pipeline debate.”

“For example, TransCanada didn’t open a Washington office until June 2012, at least two years after the pipeline became a national issue in the U.S. Before that, Paul Elliot, its only full-time staff lobbyist for the pipeline in Washington, regularly commuted to the city from New York.”

“In the past two years, the company has adopted a more aggressive tone and poured more money into U.S. lobbying and advertising, spending $3.6 million in 2014. It also shuffled the roles of two senior executives to address the concerns of landowners along proposed pipeline routes and to put more emphasis on public relations.”