Cushing, OK — President Barack Obama said Thursday he will fast-track the southern portion of a pipeline from Cushing to Texas and consider a new permit proposal for a northern section of the line from Canada.
TransCanada, the company hoping to build the 36-inch Keystone XL pipeline, will submit a new plan that avoids the Nebraska Sandhills region. Following the president’s 11-minute speech at a TransCanada pipe yard outside Cushing, Keystone project Vice President Robert Jones said the company hopes to have the northern leg approved to construction on the northern leg by mid-2013.
Obama said Thursday he would be happy to review future applications.
“The fact is that my administration has approved dozens of new oil and gas pipelines over the last three years – including one from Canada,” he said. “And, as long as I’m president, we’re going to keep encouraging oil development and infrastructure and we’re going to do it in a way that protects the health and safety of the American people. We don’t have to choose between one or the other. We can do both.”
Obama was near Cushing, the self-proclaimed pipeline crossroads of the world, to tout his “all-of-the-above” energy strategy relying on a variety of power sources to meet the country’s needs.
Responsible increases in oil and gas production are part of the road to America’s energy independence, Obama told an invitation-only crowd, but it isn’t the only part. He said the country needs to pursue all forms of American-made energy.
“We don’t want to be vulnerable to something happening on the other side of the world,” Obama said. “That’s not the future I want for America. That’s not the future I want for our kids. I want us to control our own energy destiny. I want to determine our own course.