NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- President Obama's been on the road for the past week, ending up in Toluca, Mexico, to meet with Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. But I think the trajectory of his meetings has a connected reason to it -- I believe Obama is getting ready to approve the Keystone XL pipeline project.
First, Obama appeared in California to view the damage being caused by severe droughts in the area and pledged $1 billion for climate-change relief. Second, the President was whisked off to a truck manufacturer in Maryland to announce increased regulations, ready to go into effect starting in 2015, on the fuel efficiency of trucks.
Finally, the President appeared on Wednesday in Mexico for the touted "Three Amigos" conference, with issues of trade and immigration on the docket. But I doubt whether those topics will be first on the list when Obama sits down opposite the Canadian head of state, a firm advocate for approval of the Keystone pipeline.
It would seem Obama has been trying to unilaterally do all he can to appease his environmental supporters, mentioning climate change recently in the State of the Union and focusing on climate in his last two stops before Mexico. He has got to tell the Canadians something and I believe he will quietly reveal that he is approving the buildout of Keystone, following the recommendation of Secretary of State John Kerry.
Kerry can hardly do otherwise: His own State Department has released its second study of the pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, finding no significant environmental reason for it not to be built. It would be nearly impossible for Kerry to then go against the findings of his staff and give Obama cover to disallow the build.Should Keystone be approved, some instant stock winners are likely to be TransCanada (TRP) and Enbridge (ENB), the two partners on the American part of the pipeline, and Exxon Mobil (XOM), whose Kearl project will rely upon Keystone for easy transport of its increasing Alberta oil sands production. I talk more about Keystone XL with Stephanie in the video above. At the time of publication the author was long XOM. Follow @dan_dicker This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.
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