Wyoming U.S. Sen. Barrasso pushes Obama on Keystone XL pipeline

2012-11-27T08:00:00Z 2013-10-18T22:32:17Z Wyoming U.S. Sen. Barrasso pushes Obama on Keystone XL pipelineBy ADAM VOGE Star-Tribune energy reporter Casper Star-Tribune Online

Sen. John Barrasso is among a group of senators seeking face time with President Barack Obama over a controversial pipeline.

The Wyoming Republican signed his name to a Nov. 16 letter asking the president for a meeting to discuss the Keystone XL pipeline extension, a TransCanada-owned, 36-inch diameter pipeline which would transport Canadian crude through a series of states including Montana and South Dakota and ending in Louisiana.

The letter was written by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and signed by 16 other lawmakers. It asks the president to expedite the project.

“Nothing has changed about the thousands of jobs that Keystone XL will create,” the group wrote. “Nothing has changed about the energy security to be gained through an important addition to the existing pipeline network built with sound environmental stewardship and the best modern technology.”

No part of the line would traverse Wyoming, but Barrasso said in a statement that people in the Cowboy State understand energy needs and can get behind the project.

“In Wyoming, we have first-hand knowledge of how energy projects like the Keystone XL pipeline create good jobs for working families,” he said. “Keystone XL is ready now to create thousands of jobs, while at the same time increasing America’s energy security.”

The road for Keystone XL extension approval has been long. Canadian and U.S. phases of pipeline — often called the Keystone pipeline — are completed and operational, but proposed U.S. additions have yet to be approved.

TransCanada proposed the XL extension in 2008. Late last year, Congress passed a bill mandating a decision on the project from Obama within 60 days. Obama rejected the application in January, saying the deadline didn’t allow for a proper review process.

The president has since said the project is a priority for his administration.

TransCanada’s route through Nebraska has drawn extensive criticism from environmental groups and landowners. Many worried about the initial route proposal, saying that it crossed unconfined aquifers and other sensitive areas. The company redrew the route and submitted a new plan which it says avoids such areas.

The company began construction on the southern part of the line — which runs from Oklahoma to the Gulf of Mexico — earlier this year.

Barrasso said Obama should turn his attention toward the project, especially now that he’s secured re-election.

“The politics surrounding this decision should also be over,” he said. “If the president is serious about improving our economy and helping America become an energy independent nation, he’ll approve the Keystone XL pipeline immediately.”

A final decision on the project is expected sometime early next year.

Reach energy reporter Adam Voge at 307-266-0561, or at adam.voge@trib.com. Read his blog at http://trib.com/news/opinion/blogs/boom or follow him on Twitter @vogeCST.

Copyright 2015 Casper Star-Tribune Online. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(13) Comments

  1. WallyWyo
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    WallyWyo - December 04, 2012 6:03 am
    Everything I have read says this oil is not meant for US consumption but will be piped to the Gulf refineries and then sent to other parts of e world.

    Also it has been said the price of gas will go up not down in the Midwest with this pipeline

    http://www.tarsandsaction.org/spread-the-word/key-facts-keystone-xl/
  2. HogaRock
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    HogaRock - November 30, 2012 6:14 am
    Mc, you don't think having another added source of crude to the Gulf Region will have an effect on price volatility at the pump? Having a more robust and deeper bench of infrastructure won't help insulate us from temporary price shocks? Oil is a global commodity, but the temporary spikes that occur time to time can have a big impact economically. Smoothing those spikes is a worthy goal. Environmentally you are getting thousands of crude hauling trucks off the road, and have many less trains transporting crude over rail. The advantages of that far outweigh the risk to aquifers in the path of the pipeline. In the event of a spill the pipeline will get shutdown quickly, repaired as soon as possible, and cleaned up. We have been building pipelines for a long time, and we know how to do it that will have as minimal impact as possible. The last thing these pipeline companies want to do is have a leak in their pipes. The misinformation put out by the environmentalists is as appallingly bad as the political supporters of this pipeline who tell us that this pipeline will singlehandedly turn the economy around.
  3. mcfromkc
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    mcfromkc - November 29, 2012 3:53 pm
    Hogarock, I have to disagree that building the pipeline would be an "environmental plus" or that it would have any significant impact on the price volatility of gas. Oil is global commodity and another 830k barrels of crude is not going to change that. There are environmental risks in such a project and the projected benefits are uncertain at best.

    perfo - you are correct, but I was referring to future leasing in the Wyoming Range, not the purchase of the existing leases. In any case my point was that it was diverse coalition that came together to get the Legacy Act passed.
  4. HogaRock
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    HogaRock - November 29, 2012 12:51 pm
    mcfromKC,

    The Keystone XL Pipline fits the bill of a very much worthwile, needed, and value added energy project if there ever was one. It originates in the rich tar sand fields for Canada, it runs right through the Bakken oil play in North Dakota and Montana, and its end point is in the Gulf Region with the refineries needed to refine this crude oil into the different petroleum products that our economy uses. It gives us better access to crude oil produced in two of the most oil rich areas on the continent. It promotes North American energy security. It is an environmental plus because it takes trucks and trains away from transporting crude over land which is the most dangerous way to transport crude oil. Increases safety because of said semi trucks off the roads. It is the most cost efficient way to get the crude oil that is produced in the remote northern reaches of the continent to the major refinery hub in North America. Quite frankly this is the most common sense and needed energy project for infrastructure purposes in North America today.

    It is veyr unfortunate that it has become a political football that the Democrats and Republicans are using to score points. The Democrats are blowing the risks and problems with the project way out of proportion, and the Republicans are inflating the importance and waht it will do. As a result the project is put on hold for artificial reasons that have little or no basis in reality, and we the consumers are exposed to more price volatility and risk to gasoline prices.

    The positives for the pipeline far outweigh the negatives, and any sane businessman and consumer with all the information would build the pipeline. unfortunately politicians are involved to logic and reason are thrown out the window.
  5. perfo
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    perfo - November 29, 2012 12:49 pm
    mcfromkc, The Wyoming Range has not been preserved. The coalition is still $3MM short on cash to purchase the leases from PXP by the end of the year. If they can't raise the cash, the deal goes nowhere.
  6. mcfromkc
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    mcfromkc - November 29, 2012 12:16 pm
    @brianvmax, no Rawhide is not "spot on" in his comment. Not every energy project is worthwhile and the Keystone pipeline fits that description. Furthermore it is not just the mythical "greenies and bunny huggers" that Rawhide is so obsessed with who oppose unnecessary oil and gas development. The coalition that preserved the Wyoming range consisted of ranchers, hunters, and lifelong residents of Star Valley as well as environmentalists.
  7. brianvmax
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    brianvmax - November 29, 2012 11:59 am
    you are spot on rawhide
  8. South Dakota Gal
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    South Dakota Gal - November 27, 2012 8:48 pm
    AND which part of Wyoming does this XL pipeline run through....talk to the landowners who are affected by its path and the treatment of this company.
  9. themike
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    themike - November 27, 2012 8:34 pm
    To me making sure pipeline is safe is top priority. This can be done! I dont understand why people cant see how great the pipeline would be for our country. We already have pipelines in this country its not like this is the first one. THe energy security (dealing with a friend and neighbor Canada) instead of Iran, Iraq , Venezeula, Saudi Arabia, etc far out weighs the small extra amout of Co2 from tar sands. Thats right i said small amount. If you are protesting keystone then i hope ur not dirving a car that is using gas from one of those unfriendly to USA countries or you are truely a hipocrite. 100% for pipeline.
  10. Rawhide
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    Rawhide - November 27, 2012 4:23 pm
    Did spook help you write this one too...you seem to have quite hardon for the energy buisness...remember they are the reason your property taxes are low...the energy industry pays 90% of your schools needs...wy doesn't have a state incometax either...THANKS TO THE ENERGY INDUSTRY....but then maybe an old hippie never worked or acquired property then those things would not mater...why is it libs are also greenies/bunnie huggers...you libs would rather we keep getting our oil from the middle eastern terrorist...or let china get that Canadian oil...but by gawd no mater what lets not be in favor of ANYTHING that might benefit this country...
  11. side oiler
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    side oiler - November 27, 2012 1:54 pm
    But,Dewey,the pipe hole will line the pockets of duds like Cheney and his crony buddies.They do NOT care about long term jibs,nor do any of the other wet diaper phonies in the has been GOP.
  12. Opie
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    Opie - November 27, 2012 1:30 pm
    This is a brilliant and true comment. Thank you Cody Coyote.
  13. Cody Coyote
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    Cody Coyote - November 27, 2012 8:58 am
    I'm going to suggest we rename a whole block of bleacher seats at UW's War Memorial Stadium after Senator Barrasso...because he spends so much of his time grandstanding.

    He really should spend more of his valuable time studying up on issues instead of just re-mouthing them, echoing the ideological rhetoric of his rapidly diminishing cabal of obstructionist partisan wonks disguised as statesmen.

    Doctor No is a large part of the problem with the Do Nothing Congress. Now that the ' Lynch Obama' movement has failed , along with the Tea Party movement, perhaps we have a small glimmer of hope that Barrasso will show some humility and start doing the actual job we sent him back east to do: enact smart policy for the betterment of the American people as a whole.

    Oh by the way , John...Lesson 1 : the Keystone XL Pipeline is a nasty foreign-owned project delivering a nasty product that will not create American jobs in quantity nor provide prosperity in quantity nor opportunity that makes it a good value for Americans. Your blind loyalty to the Hydrocarbon Hegemony is wearing very thin, as it is with our other two Wyoming reps back east.
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