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Okla. Officials Blast Obama Over Pipeline Move (Jan 18, 2012)

OKLAHOMA CITY - Gov. Mary Fallin and other elected officials are blasting President Barack Obama for his decision to reject a permit to build a Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline that would cross Oklahoma.

Obama on Wednesday announced that he turned down the proposal for the 1,700-mile pipeline because Congress gave him a 60-day deadline that did not allow for a thorough review of the project.

Fallin says the rejection of the pipeline will cost the state an estimated 1,200 construction jobs and more than $1 billion in new investment in Oklahoma.

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK4) said years of study have shown the Keystone would be just as environmentally safe as the many other pipelines already crisscrossing the nation.

"The president's decision means that this reliable oil supply from our Canadian allies may go to China, and America could miss out on both energy security and tens of thousands of new jobs," Cole said.

Congressman James Lankford (R-OK5) said the decision only benefits Obama’s “politically preferred sources of energy.”

"Previous pipelines from Canada have been approved in 24 months, but the President has kept the Keystone XL Pipeline in a holding pattern for more than 40 months," Lankford said.U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK3) , the Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, said the pipeline would have reduced U.S. dependency on foreign oil.

"With Oklahoma being a top producer in American-made energy, it is discouraging that the President is turning down this opportunity to create economic prosperity and utilize our domestic energy resources," Lucas said.

The director of the Oklahoma Chapter of the Sierra Club commended today’s decision. David Ocamb said in a Skype interview with KGOU’s Kurt Gwartney the pipeline carrying tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico risks the land of property owners and Oklahoma citizens.

The Sierra Club says claims the pipeline would create as many as 100,000 jobs are a "bait and switch” scam.

Ocamb said supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline cite economic data from The Perryman Group regarding job creation.

"Cornell University evaluated this study and has found the numbers to be patently false," Ocamb said.

A TransCanada official said last week that if approved, the next phase of the project was to build a large pipeline from the oil storage center in Cushing, Oklahoma, to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast.


Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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