TransCanada Acknowledges Congressional Support for Keystone XL

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Dec. 17, 2011) - TransCanada Corporation (TSX:TRP)(NYSE:TRP) (TransCanada) announced today it acknowledges and respects the discussion that has occurred in Washington in recent weeks as members of Congress have thoughtfully debated the role Keystone XL will play in meeting U.S. energy independence needs and creating jobs, all with a long-term respect for the environment.

It appears today's vote in the U.S. Senate would have some bearing on the ultimate timeline for a decision on approval of the project. TransCanada will work with the Department of State to do whatever is necessary if the Bill is ultimately passed and the 60-day timeframe, as outlined in the legislation, comes into effect.

"The over three-year review process for Keystone XL has become the most detailed and comprehensive environmental review ever undertaken for a cross border pipeline. We look forward to learning in the coming days how this latest development will affect the ultimate approval process for our project," said Russ Girling, TransCanada's president and chief executive officer. "What today's vote indicates is that the majority of Congress supports the benefits Keystone XL will bring to the United States - 20,000 jobs for Americans and energy security through a stable, secure supply of U.S. domestic and Canadian oil."

Keystone XL has the capacity to deliver 830,000 barrels of oil per day to U.S. refineries in Cushing, Oklahoma and the Gulf of Mexico. Up to 25 per cent of that capacity has been provided for the delivery of U.S. domestic oil from the Bakken fields in Montana and North Dakota and oil from Cushing. Long-term, binding contracts for more than 150,000 barrels per day from the Bakken fields and Cushing have already been signed. This supports the desire in the United States to ultimately achieve domestic energy security.

"The fundamental issue here is that the U.S. imports 10 million barrels of oil each day - forecasts predict that will not change for decades. So the question is where will that oil come from? Will it come from U.S. and Canadian sources or will it continue to be higher priced conflict oil from the Middle East and Venezuela - regions that do not share American values," added Girling.

The legislation that passed the Senate today was pushed forward by Senators Dick Lugar (R-IN), John Hoeven (R-ND), David Vitter (R-LA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Max Baucus (D-MT). Below is TransCanada's understanding of what the Bill provides:

  • The Bill highlights and confirms that Keystone XL is good for America's job creation, economic growth, energy security and national security.
  • The Bill provides that unless the President publicly determines that Keystone XL is not in the national interest, the Secretary of State must issue a permit for Keystone XL that allows construction of the pipeline to begin in five of the six states that it would cross. The only state in which construction could not begin immediately is Nebraska, where the route of the pipeline is being shifted to avoid the Sandhills.
  • The Bill seeks to establish a reasonable and practical middle ground that provides for the concerns regarding the route in Nebraska to be fully addressed while avoiding unnecessary construction delays in the other states that the Keystone XL pipeline crosses.
  • This practical solution would immediately spur job creation by allowing construction to begin in five of the six states that the pipeline crosses rather than waiting until early 2013 when the Department of State believes it will conclude the process of re-routing and studying of the Nebraska portion of the line.
  • The Bill requires the permit for Keystone XL to contain strong and specific environmental protections and protect states' rights.

The 20,000 American jobs Keystone XL would create include 13,000 construction jobs - work for pipefitters, welders, electricians, heavy equipment operators and more. And 7,000 manufacturing jobs - from the pipe being manufactured in Arkansas, pump motors made in Ohio and transformers built in Pennsylvania, workers in almost every state in the U.S. would benefit from Keystone.

  • Construction of the 1,600 mile pipeline is broken down into 17 pipeline spreads across seven states with 500 workers per spread - that's 8,500 workers.
  • Keystone XL also needs 30 pump stations worth tens of millions of dollars. Each station requires 100 workers - that's 3,000 jobs. Add in another 600 jobs that will be needed for the six construction camps and tank construction at Cushing, Oklahoma.
  • A project of such magnitude needs construction and management and inspection oversight - the 1,000 workers here brings the overall Keystone XL total to 13,000 direct, on-site jobs.
  • The $7 billion project requires hundreds of millions of dollars worth of materials and related services for items such as the steel pipe, the tens of thousands of fittings, hundreds of large valves, fabrication of piping assemblies and structural steel for supports and thousands of other pieces of equipment used to build such things as transformers for pumping stations, meters to measure the amount of oil delivered, large electric motors for operating pumps and cabling and electrical equipment to connect our vast pipeline monitoring systems.
  • This work is expected to create an additional 7,000 manufacturing jobs. Key support companies include: Welspun (pipe from Arkansas), Cameron (valves from Louisiana), Siemens (pumps and motors and related control equipment, approximately $200 million invested to manufacture in Oregon, Ohio and Indiana) and dozens of other companies manufacturing everything from nuts and bolts to complex electrical control equipment.

The Keystone XL project is expected to create $20 billion of private-sector economic stimulus to the U.S. during construction and contribute over $5 billion in property taxes to the communities it will pass through - money counties could use to build new roads, schools and hospitals.

"We will continue to focus our efforts on collaborating with Nebraska's Department of Environmental Quality, the state and the federal State Department on an alternative route that avoids Nebraska's Sandhills," concluded Girling. "Achieving this should mean we have cleared the last remaining hurdle in the review process as outlined by the Department of State November 10, moving us toward a determination that Keystone XL is indeed in the national interest of the United States, allowing us to put Americans to work and enhance national security."

With more than 60 years experience, TransCanada is a leader in the responsible development and reliable operation of North American energy infrastructure including natural gas and oil pipelines, power generation and gas storage facilities. TransCanada's network of wholly owned natural gas pipelines extends more than 57,000 kilometres (35,500 miles), tapping into virtually all major gas supply basins in North America. TransCanada is one of the continent's largest providers of gas storage and related services with approximately 380 billion cubic feet of storage capacity. A growing independent power producer, TransCanada owns or has interests in over 10,800 megawatts of power generation in Canada and the United States. TransCanada is developing one of North America's largest oil delivery systems. TransCanada's common shares trade on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges under the symbol TRP. For more information visit: www.transcanada.com.

FORWARD LOOKING INFORMATION This publication contains certain information that is forward-looking and is subject to important risks and uncertainties (such statements are usually accompanied by words such as "anticipate", "expect", "would" or other similar words). Forward-looking statements in this document are intended to provide TransCanada security holders and potential investors with information regarding TransCanada and its subsidiaries, including management's assessment of TransCanada's and its subsidiaries' future financial and operation plans and outlook. All forward-looking statements reflect TransCanada's beliefs and assumptions based on information available at the time the statements were made. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on this forward-looking information. TransCanada undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information except as required by law. For additional information on the assumptions made, and the risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ from the anticipated results, refer to TransCanada's Management's Discussion and Analysis dated February 14, 2011 under TransCanada's profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and other reports filed by TransCanada with Canadian securities regulators and with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

TransCanada
Media Enquiries:
Terry Cunha/Shawn Howard Terry Cunha/Shawn Howard
403.920.7859 or 800.608.7859

TransCanada
Investor & Analyst Enquiries:
David Moneta/Terry Hook/Lee Evans
403.920.7911 or 800.361.6522