Tags: Keystone XL Pipeline | fallin | oklahoma | keystone | gop address

Oklahoma Governor Urges Obama to OK Keystone XL Pipeline

By    |   Saturday, 14 Feb 2015 08:44 AM

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline isn't about politics, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said Saturday, it's about much-needed jobs and growth.

It's not "politics, not Republicans and Democrats," the Republican governor said in this week's GOP address, in which she urged President Barack Obama to finally approve the long-awaited project. "It's about jobs. It’s about energy. It’s about infrastructure. And it’s about hope."

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Obama was once about all those things too, Fallin said, so that's why she is appealing to him to "do the right thing, sign this bill, and let us finally build this pipeline.”

Fallin, along with 23 other governors, signed a letter to Obama this week, asking him to reconsider his vow to veto Keystone XL legislation that was approved by the House and Senate and signed by House Speaker John Boehner Friday.

The project will support at least 42,000 jobs in the United States, according to the State Department, Fallin pointed out, and will allow the "safest, most cost-effective way to transport these resources" while allowing the nation to "continue building our energy future and reducing our dependence on foreign oil."

She noted that Keystone has already gone through six years of scrutiny, but Obama still is dragging his feet. But in her state, where part of the pipeline has already been approved, the project has proven to be an economic boon.

The section, which is the Gulf Coast portion running south from Cushing, Oklahoma, into Texas, is on track to generate more than $15 million a year in taxes for her state, Fallin said, with 85 percent of the money going to public schools.

"If the whole project is approved, the volume of oil flowing through Oklahoma would increase by 75 percent," she said. "That’s a steady, reliable source of revenue coming in for the foreseeable future."

The project had two main bases, in Prague. and Atoka, both of which are small towns with populations of no more than a few thousand, but having 1,000 workers based out of the construction camps gave both communities a huge economic boost, said Fallin.

"At its peak, about 4,000 workers were part of the construction of the Gulf Coast pipeline," she said. "That’s some 12 million man-hours of labor."

And even though the construction has ended, the pipeline is still bringing in jobs and opportunities, with Oklahoma seeing a 44 percent jump in pipeline transportation and construction jobs since 2010.

"I’m appealing to [Obama] to do the right thing, sign this bill, let us finally build this pipeline," she said. "Let us get our people working.


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The proposed Keystone XL pipeline isn't about politics, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said Saturday, it's about much-needed jobs and growth.
fallin, oklahoma, keystone, gop address
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2015-44-14
Saturday, 14 Feb 2015 08:44 AM
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