White House Leans Toward Approval of Keystone XL Pipeline

Energy Secretary Stephen Chu says Canada's status as a close U.S. ally may help win approval of a plan to pipe oil from Canada across the U.S. to the Gulf of Mexico.

Secretary Chu’s comments are the latest signal that the Obama administration will ultimately back the Keystone XL Pipeline. The pipeline would carry crude oil 1700 miles from the Alberta tar sands to refineries here in southeast Texas.

In an interview with the “energyNOW!” TV show set to air in mid-September on Bloomberg Television, Chu describes the pipeline as worth the investment, despite remaining environmental concerns.

“Having Canada as a supplier for our oil is much more comforting than to have other countries supply our oil.”

Kurt Abraham, vice president of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, says there’s no way to underestimate the importance to refineries of a reliable supply of crude.

“It makes a lot of us in the industry a little bit nervous when you’ve got Hugo Chávez constantly threatening to hold back exports to the United States. You know, one of these days, he’s going to be crazy enough, he’ll make good on it.”

The State Department, which must sign off on all cross-border construction, aims to make its final ruling by the end of the year.

Keystone XL Pipeline
Image courtesy of U.S. Department of State


Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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