Case | HBS Case Collection | October 2012 (Revised February 2014)

Keystone XL Pipeline

by Richard H. K. Vietor


On January 18, 2012, President Obama rejected TransCanada's application for a "national interest" determination to approve construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Keystone XL was a 1,700 mile long, 36-inch diameter pipeline to transport 1.1 million barrels a day of Canadian heavy oil from Alberta (and shale oil from Montana) to the American Gulf Coast. But the American environmental community had focused all its resources on stopping Keystone XL—to them, a symbol of the nation's refusal to deal with climate change. Now the head of Keystone had to figure out what had gone wrong, and decide what to do next in order to get the project approved.

Keywords: energy; petroleum; environmentalism; United States; oil prices; national security; National Security; Environmental Sustainability; Energy Sources; Energy Industry; Canada; United States;


Vietor, Richard H. K. "Keystone XL Pipeline." Harvard Business School Case 713-039, October 2012. (Revised February 2014.)