Wicker and Cochran Oppose President's Decision to Block Keystone XL Pipeline

January 18, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) on Wednesday criticized President Obama’s decision to block a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline to the U.S. from Canada.  The proposed 1,700 mile pipeline would transport 700,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada and the U.S. Bakken region to U.S. refineries.
“North America possesses tremendous energy resources, but the Obama Administration refuses to utilize what we have in a responsible way,” said Wicker.  “The President’s politically-motivated decision to block the Keystone XL pipeline will prevent the creation of thousands of American jobs and increases America’s dependence on energy sources in the Middle East.”

“I am disappointed with the Obama administration’s handling of this pipeline project,” said Cochran.  “Congress provided the President and states with the authority to work through concerns about the pipeline route without rejecting the whole plan.  Nonetheless, President Obama has found another way to delay a ready-to-go infrastructure project that has broad support and that would lessen our reliance on foreign energy.” 

Under the two-month payroll extension passed in December, the Administration was required to issue the permit by Feb. 21, 2012, unless the President determined the pipeline was not in the national interest.

An estimated 20,000 Americans jobs would have been created to build the pipeline for the $7 billion project.  The Keystone XL pipeline remains the nation’s largest ready infrastructure project.

Canada’s oil sands are among the largest oil reserves in the world. As global demand for oil surges and Canada increases production, the addition of the Keystone XL pipeline would ensure that Americans benefit from reliable and secure oil from our largest trading partner.