(CNN) – Republicans pressed President Barack Obama again Saturday to approve the controversial proposed pipeline that would carry oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
U.S. Rep. Lee Terry of Nebraska said in the weekly Republican address the Keystone pipeline "is primed to give our economy a shot in the arm and make energy more affordable – and it won't cost the taxpayers a dime."
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, but said an alternate route from Nebraska had yet to be decided.
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.
While the entire 1,700 mile pipeline was not approved, Obama last 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.
In his address, Terry said Obama's administration was blocking the full pipeline "using every bureaucratic trick and excuse in the book."
"It's now been more than 1,600 days since the initial permits were filed for building the pipeline," Terry said. "To put that in perspective, it took the United States a little more than 1,300 days to win World War II, and it took Lewis and Clark about 1,100 days to walk the Louisiana Purchase and back."
CNN's Ashley Killough and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.