Obama put on 'Keystone Clock'

Feb. 12, 2013 at 5:45 AM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- A Republican-led energy committee said the clock is ticking and it's time for U.S. President Barack Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee put Obama on a "Keystone Clock," noting it's been more than 1,600 days since pipeline company TransCanada submitted a construction application to the U.S. State Department.

Keystone XL would deliver Canadian crude oil to southern U.S. refineries. Supporters say it would ensure North American energy independence and provide more jobs while detractors say the environmental risks are too great.

TransCanada had to reconsider its plans through Nebraska to allay environmental concerns before the state gave its consent. The U.S. government has the ultimate say, however, because the pipeline would cross the U.S.-Canadian border.

"Despite the nation's economy contracting last quarter, the president is still having difficulty saying 'yes' to $7 billion in private investment that will jumpstart the economy and boost the middle class," a committee statement read.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said a decision on the project was expected soon.

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