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API: Time to approve Keystone XL

April 20, 2012 at 8:18 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, April 20 (UPI) -- The White House is running out of excuses for further delay on approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada, a trade group said.

Canadian pipeline company TransCanada submitted a 54-page report to Nebraska officials outlining a pipeline route that avoids the Sandhills region. The region contains the Ogallala Aquifer, a key water supply for the region.

Keystone XL would stretch from oil sand fields in Alberta, Canada, to refineries along the southern U.S. coast. Supporters say it would reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, provide more jobs and lower overall energy costs. Critics say that type of crude presents a wide range of environmental risks.

American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard said it was time for U.S. President Barack Obama to approve the project.

"The stars are aligning for America's energy future and President Obama should make the right choice now and approve the entire Keystone XL pipeline," Gerard said in a statement.

Nebraska lawmakers objected to TransCanada's initial plans because of the threat to the aquifer. The company, in its report to the state, references an "initial analysis" of several "alternative pipeline corridors."

Obama rejected an initial effort by Republican lawmakers to force the issue, citing the "arbitrary" deadline inserted into a measure extending payroll tax benefits.

TransCanada needs U.S. government approval because Keystone XL would cross the U.S.-Canadian border.

TransCanada has a "preferred" route outlined in its report. Mike Linder, director of the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, told CNN it's going to be another "six to nine months" before his agency assesses the project following a period of public comment.

Topics: Barack Obama
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