CUSHING, Okla. — President Obama is expected to outline his energy policy and discuss a new oil pipeline when he arrives in Oklahoma. The President will spend the night Wednesday evening in Oklahoma City and will travel to the Cushing area Thursday morning. TransCanada is moving forward with plans to build a section of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.
It would start in Cushing and extend down through Texas to the Gulf of Mexico.
The White House has praised TransCanada’s decision to build the Oklahoma section of the pipeline.
Experts say a lack of pipelines out of Cushing to gulf refineries has caused a backlog of oil.
The Cushing Chamber of Commerce reports an increase in the number of tanks built to hold all that oil.
“A lot of need, a lot of oil, and you have to store it somewhere and thank God they are storing it in Cushing,” Brent Thompson said, Cushing Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
TransCanada decided to move forward with the $2.3 billion project after the President did not approve the company’s request to build the Keystone XL.
There have been environmental concerns about the route of the proposed pipeline. Supporters say the construction of the pipeline will create jobs.
TransCanada released this statement:
“The President has previously voiced his support for the Gulf Coast Project and we agree as it will relieve the bottleneck in Cushing and allow American producers to transport their oil to the Gulf Coast to meet refinery demand. The production of light crude oil has been growing in the United States, not just in North Dakota but also Montana, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio and other States. Refineries in the Mid-West do not need all of this production for their operations, so a significant amount of this crude oil needs access to new markets, such as the U.S. Gulf Coast which imports millions of barrels of foreign crude oil every day. Much of this production can currently reach Cushing, Ok, the U.S.’s largest storage hub, but cannot get further to the Gulf Coast without resorting to more expensive transportation options such as rail.
Along with relieving the bottleneck, refiners will have access to cheaper Canadian oil which should put downward pressure on U.S. gas prices. The Gulf Coast Project also supports U.S. energy independence by allowing Texas refineries to use American and Canadian crude oil instead of higher priced conflict oil from the Middle East and Venezuela, and the project will create thousands of jobs in Texas and Oklahoma.”