Keystone XL supporters, opponents press Obama for prompt decision

Supporters and opponents of the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline separately urged US President Barack Obama to decide promptly on whether the project should receive a cross-border permit. Their calls came days after the US Department of State released its final supplemental environmental impact statement on the project (OGJ Online, Feb. 1, 2014).

Ten US senators from both major political parties were joined by US Reps. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) and John Barrow (D-Ga.) and top officials from the American Petroleum Institute, the US Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, and four labor unions on Feb. 4 in urging the president to let the project proceed.

“After more than 5 years and five federal reviews, all the excuses not to build Keystone XL have been exhausted,” API Pres. Jack N. Gerard maintained. “The final EIS has put to rest any credible concerns about the pipeline’s potential negative impact on the environment. The only thing left is for President Obama to declare that this project is in our nation’s interest.”

Opponents, meanwhile, said thousands of activists would hold more than 280 vigils nationwide that evening to urge the president to reject the project’s cross-border permit application.

“These vigils are the largest, on-the-ground, rapid response protest at any time during the Obama administration,” said Elijah Zarlin, senior campaign manager at CREDO Action. “Imagine if all these people could be out in the streets fighting for the president’s second-term agenda, instead of urging him to reject the Keystone XL pipeline.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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