Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
Obama Energy Initiatives
CUSHING, OKLAHOMA President Barack Obama came to Cushing, Oklahoma to the site of a pipeline storage yard owned by TransCanada, the Canadian company that owns the Keystone XL pipeline, to announce his administration is speeding up the process to approve the southern leg of the pipeline.
The portion of the pipeline endorsed by President Obama will carry oil produced in Cushing from there to the Gulf of Mexico.
The Keystone XL pipeline's northern leg has been plagued with fierce opposition, by American Indians and environmental groups. American Indians have opposed it because of its proposed route would have crossed the Mink Wiconi Rural Water pipeline in two different locations. The Mink Wiconi Rural pipeline provides drinking water from the Missouri River to the Rosebud, Oglala and Lower Brule Lakota Nations.
“So what we've said to the company is, we're happy to review future permits. And, today we're making this new pipeline from Cushing to the Gulf a priority. So the southern leg of it we're making a priority, and we're going to go ahead and get that done.
The northern portion of it we're going to have to review properly to make sure that the health and safety of the American people are protected. That's common sense,”
President Obama told the crowd assembled at yesterday's event.
The presidential motorcade passed by a group of protesters that included American Indians carrying signs to "Stop the Keystone Pipeline." American Indian actor Richard Roy Whitman, Yuchi-Muscogee Creek, was part of the protesters.
Members of the protest group are still troubled by Keystone XL's southern leg.
They cite a survey done by the Oklahoma Archeological Society that identified 88 archaeological sites and 34 historical structures in Oklahoma that will be threatened by Keystone XL pipeline.
TransCanada has agreed to monitor only 17 of the archaeological sites, and so has basically ignored the rest of the requests.
President Obama's visit to Cushing was part of a two day, four state, trip designed to tout the energy initiatives undertaken by his administration. The Republican candidates running for president have accused Obama of not doing enough to keep the price of gasoline at the pumps down.
Even though the protesters were allowed to protest in a fenced city park some six miles from the pipeline storage yard where President Obama spoke, the presidential motorcade passed them on its way to there.
photo credit Justin Hayden
posted March 23, 2012 10:30 am edt
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