By Ricky O'Bannon
CNHI News Service
President Barack Obama’s visit to Cushing opened the door slightly for the sidelined Keystone XL pipeline from Canada into the United States.
But the president, saying he would review future permits, didn’t go far enough for those supporting the 36-inch line to transport crude oil.
“I heard some of what we wanted to hear, but I was hoping to hear more about the north part of the line,” Cushing Mayor Evert Rossiter said Thursday. “It’s just an honor to have him here.”
Obama pointed out the Republican governor of Nebraska and others had asked him to hold off on approval due to concerns over groundwater in the area where the pipeine would have passed through Nebraska.
“So to be extra careful that the construction of the pipeline in an area like that wouldn’t put the health and safety of the American people at risk, our experts said we needed a certain amount of time to review the project,” Obama said Thursday. “Unfortunately, Congress decided they wanted their own timeline – not the company, not the experts but members of Congress that decided this might be a fun political issue decided to intervene and made it impossible for us to make an informed decision.
“We’re happy to review future permits,” Obama said, “and today we’re making this new pipeline from Cushing to the Gulf a priority."