MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

April 4, 2012

Pipeline good move for state

President Obama’s decision to push forward with the southern portion of the Keystone XL pipeline is a good move for Cushing and a good move for Oklahoma.

Obama told an invitation-only crowd near Cushing that he would “direct 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.”

There is a glut of oil in Cushing. Pipeline capacity stymies the ability to send crude oil to refineries along the Gulf Coast.

The International Energy Agency estimated in January that another 7 million to 8 million barrels of oil storage would be added in Cushing this year because of the bottleneck.

The Keystone XL pipeline originally was to connect Canada with refineries in Houston and Port Arthur, Texas.

The pipeline required a presidential permit because it would have crossed an international border.

There were environmental concerns with the pipeline crossing the Ogallala Aquifer in the Nebraska Sandhills.

Obama told the crowd that members of Congress did not give his administration enough time to make an informed decision on the pipeline’s merits.

Critics say the permit application had already been on file for years prior to the deadline imposed by Congress.

That debate is best left for election cycle politics. The important thing for Oklahoma is to begin construction on the pipeline as soon as possible.

With his administration approving the pipeline, Oklahoma can expect more taxpayers to be employed in its construction.

That is a good thing for both Cushing and the state.

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