Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

State News

March 22, 2012

Obama brings energy strategy to energy state; promises support for Keystone XL


Cushing, OK —

“That means producing more biofuels … more fuel efficient cars … more solar polar … more wind power ...” the president said.

“The key is to keep it going, Oklahoma,” Obama said. “If we’re going to end our dependence on foreign oil, if we’re going to bring gas prices down once and for all, as opposed to just playing politics with it every single year, then what we’re going to have to do is to develop every single source of energy that we’ve got, every new technology that can help us become more efficient.”

Obama spoke Thursday morning at a TransCanada pipe yard north of Ripley, which is storing pipe sections to be used in a portion of the Keystone XL pipeline that will connect oil reserves in Cushing to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast.

The president’s visit brought out protesters with various causes. Included in the groups gathered in Cushing were members of the Americans for Prosperity who argued Obama was harming oil production, environmentalists concerned over the pipeline’s impact and members of Native American tribes who said construction of the southern pipeline will mean digging up tribal graves.

The Keystone XL pipeline originally was to connect Alberta, Canada through Cushing to refineries in Houston and Port Arthur, Texas. In January, that project was denied a presidential permit, and the Obama administration cited a short timeline on the decision imposed by Congress. TransCanada split the project in two and said it would go ahead with the southern section of the 36-inch line, which does not require a presidential permit because it crosses no international border. 

Thursday, the president endorsed the line sending oil south from Cushing and issued an executive order for federal agencies to fast-track the project.

“Today, I’m directing my administration to cut through the red tape, break through the bureaucratic hurdles, and make this project a priority, to go ahead and get it done,” Obama said.

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