Keystone XL pipeline: Here's what both sides are saying on the issue

Leaders on both sides of the Keystone XL pipeline debate speak out

The fate of the controversial and much delayed Keystone XL pipeline was front and center nationwide Friday, as the Nebraska Supreme Court removed a state hurdle to the project, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to move it forward, and the president vowed to veto any bill Congress puts on his desk.

There was little middle ground in the conversation. Here are some of the voices -- including oil interests, Nebraska ranchers, members of Congress, environmentalists, the Obama administration and TransCanada, which is building the pipeline.

Russ Girling, president of TransCanada, Keystone XL pipeline's owner:

"Building Keystone XL is the choice of reason. It makes environmental, economic and geopolitical sense. That was true when the price of oil was less than $40 [per barrel] when we introduced the project six years ago, over $100 last year, or $50 today."

Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute:

"With the stroke of a pen, the president can create thousands of jobs by approving KXL. The pipeline is a vital part of our North American energy renaissance and it has been delayed for far too long.... More stable domestic and Canadian oil will enhance our nation's national and economic security."

Randy Thompson, Nebraska rancher and lead plaintiff in the case decided Friday:

"I've been involved in this thing for seven years.... This has been tremendously upsetting for landowners in this process and the fact that the political leaders try to kick our butts along with TransCanada. It's time for the president to put an end to this damn thing and let us get back to our lives and raising food for Americans."

Jane Kleeb, director of Nebraska Bold, which opposes the pipeline:

"Obviously we have a bloody nose this morning. But we are not down for the count.... The only thing today's court decision says is that a foreign corporation can buy their way through our state Legislature, which is what TransCanada did."

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.):

"The Keystone bill is a giveaway to Canadian oil interests and does nothing for America. I again call on the Republican leadership to take this bill off the floor and immediately bring up a transportation bill that will support millions of jobs – not just the 35 permanent jobs that the tar sands pipeline would create.”

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, (R-Alaska), chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources:

“This is a simple bill. It approves the long-delayed cross-border permit needed to construct the Keystone XL pipeline. It does so while protecting private property rights, allowing Nebraska to find the best possible route for the pipeline, and requiring all state and local obligations to be fully met."

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), reading about the Nebraska court's decision before the House vote:

"Hallelujah! We've got good news for the president."

White House spokesman Eric Schultz, traveling with President Obama in Tennessee:

"We are going to let the process play out. If presented to the president, he will veto the bill."

 

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