(ABC7, AP) – U.S. President Barack Obama welcomed news that TransCanada says it will build an oil pipeline from Oklahoma to Texas after Obama blocked the larger Keystone XL pipeline from Canada.
Calgary-based TransCanada says the new project does not require presidential approval, since it does not cross a U.S. border. The shorter pipeline is expected to cost about $2.3 billion and be completed next year.
The Obama administration had suggested development of an Oklahoma-to-Texas line to alleviate an oil glut at a Cushing, Okla., and storage hub.
“As the President made clear in January, we support the company’s interest in proceeding with this project, which will help address the bottleneck of oil in Cushing that has resulted in large part from increased domestic oil production, currently at an eight year high,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.
TransCanada says it still hopes to build the full 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil derived from tar sands in Alberta, Canada to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast.
“Moving oil from the Midwest to the world-class, state-of-the-art refineries on the Gulf Coast will modernize our infrastructure, create jobs, and encourage American energy production. We look forward to working with TransCanada to ensure that it is built in a safe, responsible and timely manner, and we commit to take every step possible to expedite the necessary Federal permits,” Carney said in the statement.
The company is working with Nebraska officials to find a route that avoids the environmentally sensitive Sandhills region.