TransCanada looking to rail if Keystone XL pipeline not approved

President Barack Obama speaks at the TransCanada Pipe Yard in Cushing, Okla. in this Thursday, March 22, 2012 file photo. LM Otero, The Canadian Press/AP

TORONTO – The chief executive of TransCanada says If the Obama administration doesn’t approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline his company will look to build rail terminals in Alberta and Oklahoma.

President Barack Obama is expected to decide early this year on Keystone, which is under review at the State Department. The pipeline would carry oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast.

TransCanada CEO Russ Girling said Thursday pipelines are “by far a safer alternative” to oil trains but says if customers want him to build rail terminals he will. He’s in discussions with oil and rail companies.

Concerns have been raised about the increasing use of rail to transport oil throughout North America. In July, 47 people were killed in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, when an oil train derailed and exploded.

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