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Upton: Keystone silence speaks volumes

Jan. 25, 2012 at 8:17 AM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- The U.S. president's silence over the Keystone XL pipeline speaks volumes about his commitment to energy security, a House Republican leader said.

U.S. President Barack Obama, during his State of the Union address Tuesday, said his country "needs an all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy."

Obama has been criticized for not doing enough to move the country from oil produced by unsavory regimes in the Middle East and Latin America. U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House energy and commerce committee, said the president never once mentioned the Keystone XL pipeline that his administration delayed last week.

Upton said the president "said a lot about energy at a time when the American people recognize the jobs and security that come with energy development" but was silent on things like Keystone XL. Obama said nothing about pipeline infrastructure during his address.

Keystone XL would carry crude oil from Alberta tar sands projects, a type of crude oil considered by environmentalists as the dirtiest form of oil.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., questioned the Republican push for the pipeline before the presidential address.

"If we want to wean ourselves from foreign oil, why would we allow a pipeline to be built for 1,700 miles to manufacture petroleum products to be shipped overseas?" he was quoted by Washington publication Politico as saying.

Republicans gave Obama until mid-February to decide on Keystone XL. He rejected the permit last week.

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