The PJ Tatler

White House 'Welcomes' Southern Leg of Keystone Pipeline

Insisting that its panning of oil pipeline projects wasn’t universal, the White House today said it “welcomes” news that TransCanada, the company behind the squashed Keystone XL project, is proceeding with work on the southern leg of the pipeline and will reapply for the Canada-Nebraska section permit.

The statement from the office of the press secretary comes as the White House is taking increasing heat for high gas prices in the wake of its disapproval of Keystone.

But once again, the administration heaped the blame for the death of Keystone on House Republicans.

“TransCanada gave the State Department advance notice of its intention to submit a new application for the cross-border segment of the Keystone XL pipeline, from Canada to Steele City, Nebraska, once a route through Nebraska has been identified,” the statement said. “House Republicans forced a rejection of the company’s earlier application in January, by not allowing sufficient time for important review or even the identification of a complete pipeline route. But as we made clear, the President’s decision in January in no way prejudged future applications. We will ensure any project receives the important assessment it deserves, and will base a decision to provide a permit on the completion of that review.”

TransCanada’s pipeline leg from Cushing, Okla., to the Gulf of Mexico will receive from the administration “every step possible to expedite the necessary Federal permits,” the White House said.

“As the President made clear in January, we support the company’s interest in proceeding with this project, which will help address the bottleneck of oil in Cushing that has resulted in large part from increased domestic oil production, currently at an eight year high. Moving oil from the Midwest to the world-class, state-of-the-art refineries on the Gulf Coast will modernize our infrastructure, create jobs, and encourage American energy production.”