TransCanada's Keystone XL Pipeline: Unfinished Business
(13 pages of text)
Case (Pub Mat)
in 2011, the senior management team at TransCanada Corporation in Calgary, Alberta, was stunned by the U.S. Department of State announcement that it was deferring its decision on a presidential permit, which was required for all construction of infrastructure crossing U.S. international borders. The infrastructure in question was the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would create a 2,735-kilometre direct route for Canadian crude from the Alberta oil sands to refineries in Oklahoma and the Gulf Coast. Because the pipeline would pass through environmentally sensitive landscapes, especially in the state of Nebraska, non-governmental organizations, climate change activists, citizens, celebrities and federal and state politicians pressured the Obama administration to halt the project. Company executives had initially seen the Keystone XL pipeline as a readily achievable, financially significant and strategically compelling venture but now wondered whether they had missed the indications and opportunities to avoid controversy. Extensive advertising campaigns and intensive lobbying in Washington did not seem to have improved the likelihood of the pipeline’s construction. What could be done now to increase the likelihood of permit approval and bring the Keystone XL pipeline to fruition?
This case is suitable for use with both undergraduate and MBA students. The learning objectives include the following:
- To consider the crucial issues of a non-market strategy, such as political and regulatory risk, social licence and stakeholder engagement.
- To discuss how firms engage with multiple stakeholders who often have conflicting agendas.
Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction
Canada, United States, Large, 2011
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