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March 17, 2012

President Obama to visit Cushing

NORMAN —   President Barack Obama has announced he will visit Cushing — the hub of oil storage and transport in Oklahoma.

The visit is related to the battle over the Keystone Pipeline XL.

President Obama plans to travel to Oklahoma City on Wednesday and to Cushing on Thursday.

The president has refused to grant approval for a pipeline to be built from Canada to Cushing. In January, TransCanada said it will re-apply to the U.S. Department of State for a presidential permit. Because the line from Cushing to the Gulf Coast does not require presidential approval, TransCanada has said it will proceed with the southern leg of the project — a $2.3 billion investment.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, is calling Obama’s visit to Cushing, “little more than a campaign stop in an attempt to put a favorable spin on his dismal energy record, because current gas prices threaten his job.”

Inhofe is the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and an advocate of the pipeline project.

“When President Obama visits Oklahoma in preparation for a new pipeline from Cushing to the Gulf, we hope that he will learn a thing or two about the benefits of using our own domestic oil and gas resources, especially as gas prices continue to skyrocket,” Inhofe said.  “America has more domestic recoverable resources of oil, gas and coal than any country in the world, and developing these resources is the best way to revive our economy while bringing down prices at the pump.”

Earlier this month, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission spoke in support of the pipeline, saying it is pleased with TransCanada Corporation’s decision to move forward in building the southern portion of the Keystone project which runs from Oklahoma to Texas.

“The Commission has long been concerned and held meetings on the problem posed by the fact that the terminal in Cushing, Oklahoma can receive far more oil than it’s capable of shipping out,” said Commission Chair Dana Murphy. “This will help ease that concern.”

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