WASHINGTON (CN) – President Barack Obama has ordered federal agencies to fast-track review of part of the Keystone XL pipeline running from Cushing, Okla. to Port Arthur, Texas.
While pointing out no new pipeline will immediately reduce the price of gasoline, Obama stressed the need to develop domestic infrastructure to overcome oil refining bottlenecks.
Earlier this year Obama declined to authorize construction of the northern portion of the Keystone XL pipeline which would mostly serve shale oil extraction in Alberta, Canada.
Cushing is a major oil hub connecting Gulf Coast refineries to the rest of the country. At any one time its tank farms hold between 5 and 10 percent of the total U.S. inventory of crude oil. As a result, it is the settlement point for pricing West Texas Intermediate Crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Obama said that the new section of pipeline would be particularly useful for bringing in domestic sources of nontraditional oil production like Eagle Ford shale formation in south Texas.