George W. Bush Says Keystone XL Pipeline a ‘No-Brainer’

Former U.S. President George W. Bush
Former U.S. President George W. Bush. Photographer: Seokyong Lee/Bloomberg

TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil from landlocked Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast, is a “no-brainer” that would create jobs and bolster the economy, former President George W. Bush said.

The $7.6 billion Keystone XL line would generate private-sector employment and government revenue, he said at an American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers conference in San Diego. The U.S. government’s budget deficit is unsustainable and must be reduced by supporting industry, Bush said.

“The clear goal ought to be how to get the private sector to grow,” said Bush, who spoke during a luncheon at the conference. “If you say that, then an issue like the Keystone pipeline becomes an easy issue.”

President Barack Obama denied a U.S. State Department permit for the 1,661-mile (2,673-kilometer) pipeline in January because of concern that it posed risks to environmentally sensitive areas in Nebraska. Republican senators, including John Hoeven of North Dakota, vowed last week to try again to speed approval of the line after failing to round up enough Democratic support for an amendment that would have expedited the project.

The Senate failed today to adopt a separate amendment proposed by Republican Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas that would have allowed TransCanada to build the pipeline.

The Keystone line would create a new way to carry Canadian imports outside the Midwest and reduce an oil surplus that’s depressing prices in the central U.S. TransCanada, based in Calgary, would move 830,000 barrels of oil a day across the line from Hardisty, Alberta, to Nederland, Texas.

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