WASHINGTON, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- It's time to wrap up debate on the Keystone XL oil pipeline and get to work on a project that could help U.S. energy security, a trade group said.
Last month, protesters from advocacy group Tars Sands Blockade chained themselves to heavy machinery and blocked a construction area planned for a section of the domestic leg of the pipeline. Last week, the Natural Resources Defense Council stated U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice owns at least $300,000 worth of stock in TransCanada, the company planning Keystone XL.
Rice is reportedly being considered to replace Hillary Clinton as U.S. secretary of state. The U.S. State Department is vetting the proposal for the Keystone XL oil pipeline because it would cross the U.S.-Canadian border.
Despite the opposition, the American Petroleum Institute said that, from its perspective, "most people" in the United States support the project.
"While use of renewables will expand, oil will remain critical to our nation's energy equation for decades to come," said Cindy Schild, downstream manager for the energy trade group.
This week, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality had a public hearing on plans for a new Keystone XL route through the state. Objection to an earlier route presented obstacles to the pipeline's review at the federal level.
API Central Region Director John Kerekes said it's "time to wrap this (Nebraska) study up" and move ahead with the project.