It appears the U.S. House will again try to force a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline.
The payroll tax extension passed in December contained a section that would have required a decision on the pipeline by later this month. President Obama in response, decided to deny a federal permit.
Nebraska Congressman Adrian Smith, a Republican, says there are enough reports that have been done about the proposed route.
“Studying the issue already for more than three years tells me there’s been enough studying,” Smith says. “A decision needs to be made.” The president wanted to delay the decision until after the election, Smith says, which means it wasn’t a decision based on science.
The proposed 1,700-mile, $6-billion pipeline would transport Canadian tar sands oil across Nebraska and several other states to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast.
The pipeline would cross much of Smith’s Third Congressional District and he says support will grow as the price of gas goes up.
“We’re looking at gasoline prices spiking some 60-cents over the next few months,” Smith says. “That will get the attention of the American people pretty quick. There’s growing support for diversifying our energy supplies. I hear from Nebraskans all the time who are far more anxious to get oil from Canada than from Saudi Arabia and some other countries in the Middle East.”
Smith says he still supports building the pipeline, especially after last year’s special legislative session on the subject.
Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton