Matt Dempsey (202) 224-9797

Katie Brown (202) 224-2160            

Good News for Oklahoma: TransCanada Decision Means Cushing Pipeline Back on Track

Inhofe requests field hearing in Cushing, OK to address federal approval for portion of pipeline from Cushing to the Gulf

Washington, D.C. - Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, welcomed the announcement today that TransCanada will reapply for a presidential permit to build the Keystone pipeline once the details of the rerouting process in Nebraska are settled.  As part of this announcement, TransCanada offered the good news that it will also pursue the portion of the pipeline that is to run from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf.  As the first step will be to secure permits from the Army Corps of Engineers and possible consultations by the Fish and Wildlife Service, Senator Inhofe asked Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer to hold a field hearing in Cushing, Oklahoma to address the permitting process.

"I am pleased to learn that TransCanada is not giving up on Keystone and that it still plans to move forward with the portion of the pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf," Senator Inhofe said.  "This is great news for Oklahoma: this smaller pipeline project will create 1,200 jobs immediately in our state.  As a TransCanada spokesman put it, 'From the day we get approval, we believe in one month we'll be digging. That's how ready we are.' It also means that Oklahoma will finally have the infrastructure we need to transport our immense crude supplies - and this will greatly enhance our energy security.

"The largest obstacles standing in the way of this pipeline from Cushing to the Gulf are Army Corps of Engineers permits under the Clean Water Act and potential consultations by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.  Because the Environment and Public Works Committee has primary jurisdiction over these processes, I called Senator Boxer today and requested that our committee hold a field hearing in Cushing to fulfill our oversight responsibilities. I believe that by bringing everyone together, we can ensure the quickest path forward.

"Of course, this smaller pipeline would in no way replace the need for the larger Keystone XL project, but a pipeline from Cushing the Gulf is a no-brainer. Even as President Obama squandered the best job creating opportunity he has ever had by rejecting Keystone, he still made a commitment to 'partner with the oil and gas industry to increase our energy security - including the potential development of an oil pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf of Mexico.'  In Oklahoma we are taking him at his word. 

"I hope Senator Boxer will agree to hold this important hearing in Cushing, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle as we focus on getting the smaller and larger Keystone project done."