President Barack Obama
on Thursday said he will make the southern portion of the
controversial Keystone XL
a "priority" despite opposition to the project from Indian Country, environmental groups and other affected parties.
Obama discussed his national energy policy at a speech in Cushing, Oklahoma, where the southern route of the pipeline will begin.
He also issued an executive order
that seeks to speed up the federal permitting and review process for infrastructure projects.
"Today, we’re making this new pipeline from Cushing to the Gulf a priority, Obama said
. "So the southern leg of it we're making a priority, and we're going to go ahead and get that done."
The northern route of the pipeline runs through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas. Obama said this portion remains under consideration as TransCanada
addresses concerns in those states.
"The northern portion of it we're going to have to review properly to make sure that the health and safety of the American people are protected," Obama said. "That’s common sense."
Get the Story:
In Oklahoma, Obama stresses that oil has a place in his energy policy
(The Washington Post 3/23)
In Oklahoma, Obama Declares Pipeline Support
(The New York Times 3/23)
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