(01/30/13) - Republicans on Capitol Hill are once again pushing President Barack Obama to approve the expansion of the Keystone Pipeline, which carries crude oil from Canada to refineries in the gulf of Mexico.
"I want to see the Keystone Pipeline approved by the administration," said Ohio Republican Bob Latta.
Latta speaks for many in Washington who want the Keystone XL project completed for several reasons - jobs, an estimated 20,000 direct and 100,000 indirect - 20-thousand direct, and energy self-sufficiency.
"We'll be able to get more energy production going in this country, and make sure we become the number one powerhouse in the world," Latta said.
"The project has been under review for a number of years. It's actually one of the longest-reviewed pipelines," said Talia Buford, Politico Energy reporter.
Buford says the holdup is with the State Department, which told President Obama it needed more time to review the plans.
One of the sticking points, which many people protested, was the pipeline's planned route through an environmentally sensitive part of Nebraska called the Sand Hills.
"They said, 'hey, let's look at this, help us re-route this around these areas, and then we can approve it and be happy with this route,'" Buford said.
Just last week, Nebraska's governor approved the new route, but now, there's a new hurdle - a new Secretary of State, John Kerry, just confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday.
"I think it will come down to how much influence he decides to wield over that process. Canada, for its part, is saying, 'do this pipeline or not, we're still going to tap this area, so you might as well get something out of it,'" Buford said.
That's something Latta doesn't want to go to waste.
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