September 23, 2014

Congressman Smith says it’s past time to approve Keystone (AUDIO)

Congressman Adrian Smith says he’s pleased the state of Nebraska has reached agreement with the State Department on how to proceed in assessing the environmental impact of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Smith says it’s well past time for President Obama to make a decision on Keystone.

“I understand that he has a tough decision to make. He’s got various supporters on both sides of this issue,” Smith said. “The decision still needs to be made.”

The president rejected TransCanada’s permit to cross the Canadian border to build the $7 billion oil pipeline from western Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. He allowed the company to re-apply, though, which it did.

Smith says that while he is a supporter, he won’t claim that building the pipeline will drop gas prices by a dollar a gallon.

“I’m not going to make those promises, Smith says. “I think there have been way too many promises made or expectations leveled that aren’t accurate.”

Nebraska’s Department of Environmental Quality has reached agreement with the United States Department of State on how to proceed with the environmental evaluation of the oil pipeline. Originally, TransCanada proposed a route that went through the Sand Hills. It now is working with the state to find a route around the Sand Hills.

Smith says the oil the pipeline will provide is needed.

“I know that our economy one day will fire back up and we will need more energy,” Smith says. “And I don’t want to get too choosy over the specific sources.”

TransCanada wants to build the 1,700 mile pipeline to transport crude oil from western Canada to oil refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.

AUDIO: Congressman Adrian Smith discusses the latest development in the Keystone XL pipeline. [2:30]