Sen. Hoeven: Syria Turmoil Increases Chance of Keystone Approval

Friday, 13 Sep 2013 12:23 PM

By Dan Weil

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Syria's civil war should improve the odds of the Keystone XL pipeline being approved by the Obama administration, says Sen. John Hoeven.

"I believe it does," the North Dakota Republican told The Dickinson Press Thursday.

"Right now, we’re determining how to respond in the Middle East, specifically Syria. It shows, with the volatile situation there, how important it is that we can produce our own energy in North America and not have to get it from the Middle East."

Syria doesn't produce much oil itself, but there is concern that violence could spread and endanger oil supplies elsewhere in the Mideast.

The Keystone pipeline would transport crude drawn for the Canadian tar sands to the Gulf Coast. It would also transport oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota.

Hoeven and Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu introduced a bipartisan resolution Thursday stating that the Keystone pipeline is in the national interest. President Barack Obama is under pressure to approve the project, but has not indicated when he expects to announce his decision.

With the uncertainty over Keystone, TransCanada Corp., the company that would run the pipeline, has proposed another pipeline project that would transport almost as much oil as Keystone from the Canadian oil sands across to Canada's eastern seaboard, where a new marine terminal would be built to facilitate the export of the oil overseas.

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