WASHINGTON, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- A U.S. representative said delaying a federal decision about the controversial Keystone XL pipeline was blocking vital economic growth.
U.S. House of Representatives lawmakers during the summer passed a measure requiring the White House to issue a decision on Keystone XL by Nov. 1. House leaders said a move to delay the decision was a slap in the face to economic and energy security.
U.S. Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., said a pro-Keystone XL bill he helped write would boost the economy.
"This is a bill that will instantaneously create 20,000 jobs and spinoff a potential 100,000 to 200,000 additional jobs and put us on the path to energy security," he said.
Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, who has stated opposition to the pipeline, said Nebraskans deserve an assessment of alternatives to the planned route for Keystone XL, which would pass over a key aquifer in his state.
The American Petroleum Institute stated that it saw most Americans would rather import their oil from Canada that from unsavory regimes in the Middle East.
Critics of Keystone XL say pipelines carrying heavy crude from Alberta are prone to corrosion, noting Alberta crude lingers in the environment longer than conventional crude.
TransCanada, the company that wants to build the pipeline, notes an extension of the existing Keystone pipeline from Steel City, Neb., to oil facilities in Cushing, Okla., has been in service since February.