The Keystone XL pipeline that President Barack Obama rejected over a year ago seems to be coming back to life — at least online.
Calgary-based pipeline company TransCanada recently made some changes to the project description on its website. Paragraphs written in the past-tense are now written in the present. The company also removed one paragraph that explained the history of the project, including the rejection of Keystone XL by Obama.
Here are screen captures of before and after the changes:
It is unclear when TransCanada made those modifications online, but the project was still showing past tense verbs as of Nov. 28th, according to a cached version of the page.
In an email to Radio-Canada, a TransCanada spokesperson says there isn't anything to read into that.
"We regularly update our websites and that is a result of that and nothing more," explained the media relations team lead.
But digital communications expert Bruno Guglielminetti says there is nothing trivial in the change of verb tense.
"This is a signal that the project is not dead, that the project is still alive," he said.
Michal Moore, the senior fellow at University of Calgary's School of Public Policy, isn't surprised by these changes given the strengthening market.
"What that does is to give a lot of hope that the market is going to be attractive price-wise for the products that they ship," he said.
Last week the Canadian oilpatch received a couple doses of good news. The federal government approved two major pipelines and the price of oil went up by 14 per cent in the three days following OPEC's agreement to cut production.
The day after the U.S. election in November, TransCanada said the company was going to engage with president-elect Donald Trump's administration on Keystone. TransCanada repeated that it is "fully committed to Keystone XL."
Prior to his inauguration next month, Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway will be visiting Alberta, where she is supposed to tour the oilsands and speak to Calgary business leaders.
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