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Wednesday
Nov022011

Obama to Be Involved in Keystone XL Pipeline Decision

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(OMAHA, Neb.) -- President Obama says he will be closely involved in the decision on whether to approve the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline that has pitted two of his key constituencies, labor unions and environmental groups, against each other.

In an interview Tuesday with Omaha, Neb., ABC affiliate KETV, the president suggested he will personally weigh the economic and environmental impact of the proposed pipeline before offering his input. The administration had previously said the matter would be a State Department decision.

“The State Department’s in charge of analyzing this, because there’s a pipeline coming in from Canada,” Obama said. “They’ll be giving me a report over the next several months, and, you know, my general attitude is, what is best for the American people? What’s best for our economy both short term and long term? But also, what’s best for the health of the American people?”

The $7 billion pipeline would run from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast, crossing through six states, including Nebraska.

TransCanada, the company seeking administration approval for the deal, says construction would create as many as 20,000 new jobs. Environmentalists claim the pipeline would expose broad swaths of the country to potential oil spills and that the jobs created would only be temporary.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio