The Norman Transcript


September 1, 2011

Oklahoma at heart of pipeline controversy

NORMAN — Oklahoma is at the center of one of the biggest environmental controversies in history.

Sen. Jim Inhofe visited The Transcript on Wednesday while in Norman and answered questions about the proposed Keystone XL pipeline and its connection to Oklahoma.

“Cushing is where all the action is,” Inhofe said. “You have your Alberta tar sands that are so productive. The idea is to get it (the crude oil) down to Houston.”

Inhofe is the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that oversees the Environmental Protection Agency.

Currently, the tar sands crude is part of the product shipping into Cushing, a major trading hub for crude oil. Because pipelines run into the city — not out — that oil is going into storage, rather than moving to refineries. Oil stockpiles in Cushing hit their highest levels earlier this year.

The proposed Keystone pipeline would travel from northern Alberta in Canada through the United States on its way to the Gulf of Mexico. That journey would include Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

Inhofe said there are two phases to the approval of the pipeline. Part one is approval by the EPA.

“The EPA has to issue a certificate showing they’ve gone through all of the environmental issues,” Inhofe said. “That part is already done. It’s taken longer than it should have.”

The Keystone pipeline would send tar sands crude to refineries on the Gulf Coast. Currently, those coastal refineries are buying crude on the international market.

Whether the oil stays in the United States or is sold internationally will depend on the market, Inhofe said.

“The big issue is this — we have the largest recoverable resources in oil, coal and gas,” Inhofe said.

The second phase of approval for the Keystone pipeline lies with the U.S. Department of State and, thus, the president.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Braddy_1. Norman North teen struck by freight train recovering with therapy

    A Norman North teen struck by a freight train in May is on the road to recovery and ready to get back to school after spending most of his summer in a hospital. Harrison Braddy, 16, has been staying busy with rehab and physical therapy ...

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Storm victims face loan dilemma

    The tornadoes, flooding and hail that struck Oklahoma last year left hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage, causing many home and business owners to seek help in the form of low-interest federal loans....

    July 27, 2014

  • Teen critical after rescue

    A 17-year-old Yukon male was transported to the hospital Sunday after a near drowning incident at Lake Thunderbird in the Party Cove area. Emergency crews responded to the lake after a report of a possible drowning around 5:30 p.m. ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Migrant kids go to Mass

    The services have all the elements of a typical Sunday Mass — singing, scripture, a sermon, prayers, communion and worship....

    July 27, 2014

  • Injury accident reported

    Transcript Staff Emergency crews responded to an injury accident around 10:20 p.m. Sunday in the 1000 block of 80th Avenue Southeast where there were reports of someone pinned. Several reports indicated a vehicle struck a tree causing one ...

    July 28, 2014

  • Photo Slideshow: James Garner through the years

    Photos of James Garner...

    July 27, 2014

  • Prisons expand reach to bring training to more officers

    McALESTER — Joshua Drake once was offered the chance to be a corrections officer but turned it down because he didn’t want to leave his wife and aging parents for six weeks to train hundreds of miles away in El Reno....

    July 27, 2014

  • SWIMMER Aquatic center could serve many community needs

    Michael Yoch could have been the kid with asthma sitting on the sidelines — could have been, but wasn’t. Michael had trouble running because of his asthma, which made it difficult to play soccer and many other sports his friends loved. ...

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Director leaves decade of memories

    Maureen Dolan is giving up the post as director of St. Joseph’s Early Childhood Development Center, fondly called “St. Joe’s” by the many parents whose pre-school children have spent their weekdays under her care over the past 10 years....

    July 27, 2014

  • Health officials prepare for flu

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Following a flu season in which a record number of Oklahomans died as a result of the virus, state and county health officials say educating the public and general common sense are vital to reducing both the death rate and ...

    July 27, 2014