A Nebraska Congressman expects Keystone XL to be approved, eventually.
Congressman Adrian Smith says President Trump has indicated support of the project rejected by President Obama.
“So there has been so much work already done in terms of what the State Department and the EPA have to look at so I would imagine that it won’t take as long as it did last time,” Smith tells Nebraska Radio Network.
A spokesman for TransCanada says Keystone XL has undergone five environmental studies with the Department of State as well as the process required by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality in 2012, prior to approval of a route through Nebraska by Gov. Dave Heineman in 2013.
TransCanada says it has negotiated 91% of the easements required to go through Nebraska.
Smith understands Keystone XL generates much emotional reaction, with critics worrying about its safety.
Smith responds that in the Midwest, oil can only be transported by truck, rail, or pipeline.
“You take those three and it’s safest to put it in a pipeline, rather than exposure of above-ground rail or highway transport,” according to Smith. “So, looking at everything, I think it’s very responsible to utilize today’s technology and keep our environment safe.”
President Obama rejected Keystone XL, claiming it would have added to greenhouse emissions by carrying crude from the oil sands of western Canada. In his statement, the president said the United States is a global leader in the fight against climate change and approving the Keystone XL pipeline would have undercut that global leadership.
The $8 billion dollar pipeline would carry crude from the oil sands of western Canada to refineries along the Gulf Coast in Texas. TransCanada needs presidential approval to build the remainder of the pipeline from Alberta, Canada to Steele City, Nebraska. The southern portion of the pipeline, from Oklahoma City to the Gulf Coast has been completed and is transporting crude.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]