Stillwater, Oklahoma —
Brent Thompson, executive director for the Cushing Chamber of Commerce, said Monday he is excited about the news. Thompson said he isn’t certain what the project will mean exactly but it could mean local jobs and possibly additional tank farms.
“Probably the most positive thing about it is it opens up that Cushing-South Texas distribution line,” he said.
Gov. Mary Fallin applauded the decision to build the pipeline Monday.
“Connecting Cushing to oil markets in the Gulf Coast will provide both an immediate economic jolt to the state of Oklahoma as well as a long-term boost to our energy sector,” she said in a statement released Monday. “This is an important, positive step forward for Oklahoma, and my thanks go out to TransCanada for its leadership on this issue.”
Jim Dunlap, who spent 16 years in the Oklahoma Legislature prior to working as a lobbyist for the Canadian pipeline company, spoke at a Cushing Chamber of Commerce event in late January. At that event, Dunlap called the project “shovel-ready.”
The pipeline, he said, would be a major boon to the Cushing and Oklahoma economy. Dunlap cited figures that Oklahoma would see 1,200 union construction jobs on the pipeline connecting Cushing to the Texas Gulf Coast. Those jobs would last a year.
The line has received national opposition amid fears of oil spills and the use of oil from Canada’s tar sands region. Stillwater resident Deanna Homer went to Washington D.C., to protest the pipeline and was one of 1,200 protesters arrested. She said Monday the oil in the line will be sold to the world market and won’t affect prices at the pump.
“There are very few of us in Oklahoma who are not for oil, and I know the whole city of Cushing is really for this and most of the legislators, too. But I feel we don’t need it,” Homer said. “It’s not for the benefit of the country, the people or the environment. It’s for the benefit of companies, and I wish we could do something about it.”