President Barack Obama told a Georgetown University audience he wanted to be clear about the prospects of building the Keystone XL pipeline, but his statement left unclear when a decision might be made.
Obama mentioned the Keystone XL oil pipeline during his speech on climate control given at the university located in Washington, D.C. The president stated that the nation’s energy policy has to be more than just producing more oil and more than building one pipeline.
The president acknowledged the controversy surrounding the pipeline and said that the State Department is going through the final stages of evaluating the proposal made by TransCanada.
Obama then told the audience Keystone XL will win approval only if it is found to not contribute to carbon pollution.
“The net effects of the pipeline’s impact on our climate will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project is allowed to go forward,” Obama stated.
The president gave no hint as to when a decision might be made.
TransCanada must receive a presidential permit to cross the border to bring oil produced from tar sands in western Canada to refineries in the Gulf Coast. It is a $7 billion, 1,700 mile project, which business groups claim will produce jobs and environmental groups claim will produce pollution.
It has been on hold for years, subjected to various studies and, for a time, held up after objections were raised about the route it would take through Nebraska.
When might Obama make a decision?
“We have heard nothing from the White House on when a decision will be made,” Congressman Lee Terry tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Terry, a big supporter of the pipeline, says the Keystone XL project has been in limbo for years now.
“And, we’re still in limbo after today’s speech.”
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:40]
AUDIO: President Obama mentions Keystone XL during climate change speech at Georgetown University. [1:25]