TransCanada Corp.’s proposed $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline should be built using an alternate route around the environmentally sensitive Sand Hills of Nebraska, former President Bill Clinton said.
“The extra cost of running it is infinitesimal compared to the revenues” the pipeline could produce, Clinton said today at an energy conference in the Washington suburbs. “I think we should embrace it and develop a stakeholder-driven system of high standards for doing the work.”
The 1,661-mile (2,673-kilometer) pipeline would carry oil from Alberta, Canada, to the U.S. Gulf Coast. It needs the approval of the State Department, led by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose husband is the former president, because it would cross an international border.
President Barack Obama in November delayed U.S. consideration of the pipeline to review an alternate route, a move opposed by congressional Republicans who say construction will create jobs. Groups including the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club oppose the pipeline, saying it could have harmful effects on the environment.
TransCanada yesterday informed the State Department that it will submit an application for a route from the Canadian border to Steel City, Nebraska, Hillary Clinton said today.
“We take very seriously the need to increase our supply” of oil, she said.
The Republican-led House of Representatives on Feb. 16 passed legislation to force U.S. approval of the Keystone XL project. Senate Republicans today urged approval of the pipeline as a way to lower U.S. dependence on oil from the Middle East and bring down gasoline prices.
The pipeline, which would cut across Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma to reach Texas refineries, also would help ship oil produced from the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota, Senator John Hoeven, a Republican from the state, said during a press conference in Washington today.
Hoeven joined Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, John Cornyn of Texas and John Thune of South Dakota in calling for opening additional federal waters and the Arctic wildlife refuge for drilling to reduce price2 volatility.
The average price for regular gasoline at the pump has climbed 11 percent in the past 12 months, to $3.731 yesterday, according to AAA data. The price has increased for 22 straight days.
The Republican senators plan to send a letter to President Obama today listing the steps he can take to curb rising gas prices, Cornyn said.