Keystone Pipeline and a Key New Lobbyist

The Story:

TransCanada Pipelines, the firm behind construction of the politically controversial Keystone Pipeline, has hired Putala Strategies to lobby for its interests in Washington, DC. Putala is the corporate alter ego of Christopher Putala, an old friend and one-time Senate aide of the new US President, Joseph Biden.


The Keystone XL pipeline is designed to take crude from the oil fields of Alberta, Canada, through Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska, where it would hook up with the existing Keystone system at Steele City.

The Keystone is a flash-point in large part because opponents, like advocates, think it will help get oil to market more efficiently than the alternatives and keep the price down. That is, for opponents, a bug not a feature.  Lower oil and gas prices will suppress the adoption of alternative energy systems, thus they may keep us wedded to the planet-destroying habit of reliance on carbon emissions. That is the global case against  Keystone.

The Thing to Know:

In 2017, President Trump took action permitting the pipeline’s completion. Still, it has not been completed, and on January 20, 2021, President Biden as one of his first official actions revoked the Trump permit. Presumably, Putala will be working toward some sort of favorable reconsideration of that decision.


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