OKLAHOMA C ITY–In a letter addressed to President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner, state Rep. James Lockhart (D-Heavener) urged them to seek a compromise that would allow for the construction and operation of the Keystone XL pipeline, noting that, “each day small business owners make compromising decisions and Congress should do the same.”
The Keystone pipeline would allow crude oil to be transferred within the U.S. , including from Cushing, as well as from Canada . It has been estimated that the construction and operation of the Keystone XL pipeline would create 20,000 direct jobs and as many as 118,000 related jobs while greatly reducing dependence on Middle Eastern oil supplies.
The U.S. Department of State delayed a decision to allow the project to go forward, saying more time was needed to study its environmental and health impact. Congress pushed for more immediate action, but ultimately President Obama announced postponement of a decision until 2013.
Lockhart pointed out that his district suffers from high unemployment and the pipeline would create a number of jobs for his constituents. House District 3 includes a large portion of LeFlore County in eastern Oklahoma.
“My constituents are in need of the jobs that this pipeline would provide and although I understand the president’s concerns, I believe that the positive economic impact that this project will provide greatly outweighs the concerns of the State Department and the President,” Lockhart said. “I hope that House Speaker Boehner and President Obama can set aside their differences and work out a compromise to move our national and local economy forward.”