Republicans to Obama: Approve the Keystone pipeline
February 23rd, 2013
06:00 AM ET
1 year ago

Republicans to Obama: Approve the Keystone pipeline

(CNN) – As Washington grapples with how to reduce the nation's deficit, Republicans are again pointing to the Keystone XL pipeline as a project that would boost the economy and ultimately make dents in paying off the federal debt.

Republican Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota called on President Obama to approve the full transnational pipeline that would bring oil from Canada's tar sands down to the Gulf of Mexico.

"Mr. President, it takes more than a sound bite to get the economy going, but in this case, all it will take is your signature," he said in the Saturday address.

The Obama administration rejected a permit in January 2012 for the northern leg of the pipeline that crosses the U.S.-Canada border. The administration turned down the proposal, saying an alternate route from Nebraska had yet to be decided.

While the entire 1,700 mile pipeline was not approved, Obama in March moved to fast-track the southern portion of the pipeline that runs from Oklahoma to the Gulf.

TransCanada, the company building the pipeline, began construction on that portion in August.

However, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, a Republican, recently approved a new route proposal that would be less damaging to the environment in his state. By signing off on the new route, the governor cleared a big hurdle for the controversial project, but the administration has still not made a decision.

In the weekly address, Hoeven argued the project would create tens of thousands of jobs, help keep down the cost of fuel and reduce dependence on oil from the Middle East.

Opponents of the northern leg say there's too high a risk for potential water and soil contamination from the 500,000 to 700,000 barrels of crude oil that would traverse the pipeline each day. Critics also say the type of oil from the tar sands would release more greenhouse gases than the average transportation fuels sold or distributed in the United States.

Thousands gathered on the National Mall on Sunday to protest climate change and the pipeline.

"Keystone XL is a dirty and dangerous pipeline. It's literally going to cut our country in half, carrying a very dangerous fuel, and it will cause runaway climate change," said Maura Cowley of the Energy Action Coalition.

In his address, Hoeven noted that actress Daryl Hannah and other activists were arrested recently at the White House in a protest against the pipeline.

"The real question then, Mr. President, is: Are you going to respect the will and wisdom of a majority of the American people and approve the Keystone XL pipeline, or are you going to submit to the will of vocal special interest groups? Hollywood activists don't have to worry about energy prices or a weekly paycheck, but working families do," he said.

– CNN's Mark Morgenstein contributed to this report.


Filed under: Energy • John Hoeven • Republicans
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Tony in Maine

    People to Republicans : No.

    February 23, 2013 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  2. don in albuquerque

    Jobs my butt. The jobs this provides nationally will be short term during construction, and a few long term to oversee it latter. The only winner will be the oil companies and the US will have placed another ticking bomb in place which could greatly damage our water supply. Care to have a nice cold glass of sludge? If it is such a great deal why don't the Canadians do it themselves? Because they are smarter then us, thats why.

    February 23, 2013 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  3. Dumbpolitics

    The Koch bros don't need to screw us with this pipeline. It will only create 11,000 jobs that will only last a few months.
    All of the oil that will be in the pipes will go to China not one drop will go to us Americans. The Koch bros are so cheap they even bought all the the steel pipes they will use from India and not American made steel. Again way to screw your fellow Americans out of making some money. Where are the senators' voices about buying American made steel pipes.
    They just want the Koch bros. campaign money.

    February 23, 2013 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  4. P. Dooley

    From a citizen to the GOP--STOP FIGHTING FOR THE RICH; start standing up for labor.
    Start putting money in renewable energy; cut off corporate welfare for gas and oil or billionaire
    KOCH Bros.

    February 23, 2013 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  5. Chipster

    Economists deny that this pipeline will create anywhere near as many jobs as Republicans claim and the final destination for most of the oil is Asia, not U.S. markets. Many states, particularly Nebraska, are concerned about damage to major aquifers because plans direct the pipeline over major water sources for their communities. Considering that the pipeline project will offer very little benefit and great risk to the U.S., it seems unwise to approve it. Why do you suppose Canada doesn't want to run the pipeline to their East coast instead?

    February 23, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  6. Roger

    I dont understand why they are pushing so hard for this. Maybe they should make Canada pay for it !!. From what research ive done, besides MAYBE 150 full time jobs, we are not really getting anything from it. The oil goes from Can to the gulf for shipment, so how are we making anything on it ??? Its not worth it for ONLY 150 jobs, maybe if it was 1,500 or 15,000 !!

    February 23, 2013 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  7. Republican supporter of President Obama

    Republicans are only using this to line their own pockets and campaign war chests. These oil companies need to explain why gas and oil prices are so high. They also need to pay taxes. We do not need more oil or gas. We need other sources of energy and cleaner fuel.

    February 23, 2013 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  8. Larry L

    It's interesting to note the Republicans are calling something other than "foreign oil". I believe Canada qualifies as "foreign". Also interesting is Canada's unwillingness to refine the filthy crude in their own country. It's too dirty for their environment so we ship it to Texas – where those right-wing hillbillies will have no problem trashing the environment? They would also grab a lot of land from people who don't intend to sell and don't want the mess on their family farm. Small government?

    February 23, 2013 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  9. clarke

    "The real question then, Mr. President, is: Are you going to respect the will and wisdom of a majority of the American people and approve the Keystone XL pipeline, or are you going to submit to the will of vocal special interest groups? Hollywood activists don't have to worry about energy prices or a weekly paycheck, but working families do," he said. is this statement not an oxymoron Do these people really think we are so stupid. GOP I thought you were trying cut spending, not submit to special interest. Tell me this pipeline is not a special interest. GOP you have actually facts and numbers showing this pipeline to be the will of the people? All the research is done on this pipeline and it is clear sailing?

    February 23, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  10. Tommy G

    Now we will find out if Obama REALLY is interested in creating jobs and opportunity in this country (at ZERO cost to the government) or if he is the far left radical he is looking more and more like. Stopping this pipeline will NOT stop the flow of that oil. It will only go elsewhere while we pass up this great opportunity. This is a no brainer but Obama is being held hostage by the far left environmental lunatics of the Democrat Party.

    February 23, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  11. mlwells

    "...Are you going to respect the will and wisdom of a majority of the American people ..." So, when was this matter put to a vote of the American people? Yes, I would like to see the price of gasoline drop! But, that's not going to happen. The only reason gas prices are up is GREED. Someone from NORTH DAKOTA wants the pipeline approved?! SURPRISE! North Dakota stands to make a fortune from the shipment of tar sands oil! The POTUS is not the only barrier to the pipeline ... he is not caving in to special interest groups. He is awaiting the submission of an alternative route whereby the oil sands may be SAFELY transported across this nation. If it weren't for the tax free zone in Texas, the company would be transporting their oil sands to the coast of Washington! That oil is not going to reduce our dependency upon foreign oil! Nearly all of it is being exported! Thus, the reason for using the tax-free zone! Want to reduce our dependency upon foreign oil AND create jobs? Stop exporting our oil to foreign countries and support alternative energy! Stop the tax subsidies to Big Oil!

    Quit pretending that you give a hoot about the needs of American families! We need clean air and clean water! It's not a "special interest" concern. Our environment is essential to our well-being ...

    February 23, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  12. askdavey

    who is kidding who, this will not lower the price of gas, gas will still be the same or more due to china parking a barge in the gulf taking it to china,put it in writing that the fuel will not leave the USA or CANADA. what happened to the candians plan to go the other way to the west and then send it to china? the fastest way is to refine it here and then send it to china, all while the GOP caters to the oil industy, who in return fund the GOP. america being sold out by the repblican party, and all that land they bought up to profit from thier position in the congress.....wake up america and ask them why none of this is in the fine print ?????

    February 23, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  13. James Klimaski

    Why doesn't the article mention that the oil which is to travel down the pipeline is headed for other countries? It doesn't make the U.S. more energy independent.

    February 23, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  14. cbr

    As long as the pipeline goes right by the homes of the Senators, Representatives and other government officials they certainly can build it. Somehow I do not think that will happen. We need to be sure that this pipeline will be leakproof and we know how difficult perfection can be. We need to know what happens when the oil is removed from the tarpiits. What is left and is it then wasteland? Just look at the results of strip mining.

    The photo is not reassuring either,.

    February 23, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  15. livingston

    The President to the GOP that want to sell our land and jeopardize our environment so that Canadian companies can sell oil to the highest bidder overseas – go pound sand. I guess they will have to figure out another way to pay back those campain contributions. The American people are not stupid. We have woken up to your shenanigans. Stop trying to do as much damage as possible before you're voted out at your next election.

    February 23, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  16. Sadie Boyd

    People to Republicans: You will probably get Obama on your side...he doesn't seem to grasp the enormous problems we have with climate, waste and pollution...your fight isn't with him...it will be with America...the PEOPLE don't want this!

    February 23, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  17. Thomas

    "The real question then, Mr. President, is: Are you going to respect the will and wisdom of a majority of the American people and approve the Keystone XL pipeline, or are you going to submit to the will of vocal special interest groups? Hollywood activists don't have to worry about energy prices or a weekly paycheck, but working families do," he said.

    The will of the people is clean air , clean water and clean energy . Wisdom comes with a longterm vision .

    Let Canada run the pipeline through there country , see if they like it .

    February 23, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  18. Jewels

    Don't do it! I am so tired of shady businessmen not doing what is right for the country,

    February 23, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |