It’s been more than a day since TransCanada announced it would proceed with the southern part of its proposed Keystone XL pipeline project, but Oklahoma officials are still excited about the news.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission praised the decision, saying the project is too important to fall victim to politics.
Chairwoman Dana Murphy said the pipeline between the oil storage hub at Cushing and refineries near the Gulf of Mexico will help ease some long-standing concerns in Oklahoma.
“The commission has long been concerned and held meetings on the problems posed by the fact that the terminal in Cushing, Oklahoma can receive far more oil that it’s capable of shipping out. This will help ease that concern.”
Vice chairman Bob Anthony said TransCanada’s decision came at the right time.
“During the delay of a final decision on the entire Keystone XL project, we have seen crude and fuel prices soar, badly needed jobs that the pipeline would create in the U.S. go lacking and Canada start to explore an alternative plan to sell some of the oil we need to China instead.”
Commissioner Patrice Douglas said TransCanada’s Gulf Coast project is good news for Oklahoma.
“The southern part of the pipeline is the key needed to unlock the glut of oil new held in storage in Cushing because of a lack of pipelien capacity. The project will enable Oklahoma producers to get their oil to market, meaning more usable American oil for the U.S. and a stronger economy for Oklahoma.”
The southern segment of the Keystone XL pipeline does not need presidential approval, unlike the full transcontinental project rejected last month by President Barack Obama amid concerns about its route through the Ogalalla Aquifer in Nebraska.
TransCanada estimates the reduced project will create 4,000 jobs.