"So we are drilling all over the place -- right now. That's not the challenge. That's not the problem. In fact, the problem in a place like Cushing is that we're actually producing so much oil and gas in places like North Dakota and Colorado that we don't have enough pipeline capacity to transport all of it to where it needs to go -- both to refineries, and then, eventually, all across the country and around the world. There's a bottleneck right here because we can't get enough of the oil to our refineries fast enough. And if we could, then we would be able to increase our oil supplies at a time when they're needed as much as possible.
"Now, right now, a company called TransCanada has applied to build a new pipeline to speed more oil from Cushing to state-of-the-art refineries down on the Gulf Coast. And today, I'm directing my administration to cut through the red tape, break through the bureaucratic hurdles, and make this project a priority, to go ahead and get it done.
"Now, you wouldn't know all this from listening to the television set. This whole issue of the Keystone pipeline had generated, obviously, a lot of controversy and a lot of politics. And that's because the original route from Canada into the United States was planned through an area in Nebraska that supplies some drinking water for nearly 2 million Americans, and irrigation for a good portion of America's croplands. And Nebraskans of all political stripes -- including the Republican governor there -- raised some concerns about the safety and wisdom of that route.
"So to be extra careful that the construction of the pipeline in an area like that wouldn't put the health and the safety of the American people at risk, our experts said that we needed a certain amount of time to review the project. Unfortunately, Congress decided they wanted their own timeline -- not the company, not the experts, but members of Congress who decided this might be a fun political issue, decided to try to intervene and make it impossible for us to make an informed decision.
So what we've said to the company is, we're happy to review future permits. And today, we're making this new pipeline from Cushing to the Gulf a priority. So the southern leg of it we're making a priority, and we're going to go ahead and get that done. The northern portion of it we're going to have to review properly to make sure that the health and safety of the American people are protected. That's common sense. . ."
The President went on to discuss the fact that the U.S. uses 20 percent of the world's oil; we only produce 2 percent of the world's oil; and, therefore, drilling alone is not the answer to long term energy problems. He said we must "continually improve the utilization of renewable energy sources, new clean energy sources, and how do we become more efficient in our use of energy. . . After 30 years of not doing anything, we finally increased fuel-efficiency standards on cars and trucks, and Americans are now designing and building cars that will go nearly twice as far on the same gallon of gas by the middle of the next decade. And that's going to save the average family $8,000 over the life of a car. . .
"We've got to use our innovation. We've got to use our brain power. We've got to use our creativity. We've got to have a vision for the future, not just constantly looking backwards at the past. That's where we need to go. That's the future we can build. . . And that's how we have to think about energy. And if we do, not only are we going to see jobs and growth and success here in Cushing, Oklahoma, we're going to see it all across the country."
As the President spoke in Cushing, the Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Pubic Works (EPW) Committee, James Inhofe (R-OK) grilled the EPA Administrator on the FY 2013 budget and said, "I think President Obama -- the same President who told us that fossil fuels will bring the world to an end -- is in Oklahoma today standing in an oil field touting oil and gas production. The only explanation is that he is running scared from his anti-fossil fuel agenda that he has asked you to implement for the past three years. This agenda is one specifically designed to increase the price of gas at the pump and energy in our homes. Remember, President Obama himself said that under his plan, energy costs would 'necessarily skyrocket.' But this is not a record that gets you reelected. . .
"But even as President Obama stands in an Oklahoma oil field, pretending to support this pipeline to save his job, he continues full force with his efforts to regulate fossil fuels out of existence, spearheaded in large part by your agency. His EPA is moving forward with an unprecedented barrage of expensive rules, from greenhouse gas regulations, to hydraulic fracturing, to clean water regulations, with the express purpose of eliminating fossil fuels. . ."
Access the President's Cushing speech (click here). Access the President's New Mexico speech (click here). Access the President's Nevada speech (click here). Access the President's Ohio speech (click here). Access a release from Senator Inhofe (click here). Access a release and video from Senator Murkowski (click here). Access a posting, statement and video from Speaker Boehner (click here). Access the TransCanada Keystone XL project website for additional information (click here). Access complete details and background from the DOS Keystone XL Pipeline Project website (click here). [#Energy/Pipeline, #Energy/KXL, #Energy/OilSands, #Energy/TarSands]
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