WASHINGTON, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- The clock is ticking for the U.S. president to make a final decision on the status of the planned Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, a Republican leader said.
A measure signed in December that extended taxpayer benefits gave the president 60 days to determine if the Keystone XL from Canada is in the best interest of the United States. Republican leaders said the project would reduce dependence on Middle East oil and provide jobs to a weak U.S. economy.
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House energy and commerce committee, said the national interest would be clearly served by the multibillion-dollar pipeline.
"The clock is now ticking, and soon, President Obama must finally make a decision on the long-awaited Keystone XL pipeline," he said in a statement.
Keystone XL would transit oil from tar sands projects in Canada to refineries along the southern U.S. coast. Critics say tar sands oil is one of the dirtiest forms of crude and has a tendency to linger in the environment longer if spilled.