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Nexen deal sparks push for Keystone XL

July 24, 2012 at 8:30 AM

WASHINGTON, July 24 (UPI) -- A U.S. lawmaker said he wanted to strip the presidential permit requirement from the Keystone XL pipeline to take politics out of the debate.

Canadian pipeline company TransCanada aims to build Keystone XL from oil fields in Canada to Steele City, Neb. There, it would connect to the existing Keystone oil pipeline that runs to a key trading hub in Cushing, Okla. The company is moving forward with construction of the associated Gulf Coast Project, which would extend to refineries along the southern U.S. coast.

U.S. Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., introduced a bill that would eliminate the presidential permit needed for construction of Keystone XL.

"We need consistency but more importantly, we need to take the politics out of the debate," he said in a statement.

A presidential permit is needed because Keystone XL would cross the U.S. border with Canada. The Gulf Coast Project runs exclusively through U.S. territory and received support from U.S. President Barack Obama.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee, in a statement, said more momentum was needed behind Keystone XL given the recent proposal by Chinese National Offshore Oil Corp. to acquire Canadian company Nexen Energy.

Canadian officials have expressed interest in sending their oil to China through pipelines that would reach the western coast.

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