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Obama defends energy policy, vows to expedite part of Keystone XL pipeline

03-23-2012 11:27 BJT

HOUSTON, March 22 (Xinhua) -- President Barack Obama Thursday defended his energy policy and promised an expedited review of the soutern portion of the constroverial Keystone XL pipeline project.

Obama made the remarks in Cushing, Oklahoma, on the second day of his four-state tour to tout his energy policy as his reelection campaign heats up ahead of the general elections.

"Anyone who says that we're somehow suppressing domestic oil production isn't paying attention," he said, responding to the Republicans who criticized his administration for rising gas prices. He brushed aside suggestions that drilling more will help to bring gas prices down.

"We are drilling more. We are producing more. But the fact is, producing more oil at home isn't enough to bring gas prices down overnight," he said.

"Today I've come to Cushing, an oil town, because producing more oil and gas here at home has been and will continue to be a critical part of an all-of-the-above energy strategy," Obama said.

In Cushing and later in Ohio, Obama repeated his call for a diversified policy that increases production of traditional energy sources while increasing investment in clean--fuel alternatives including solar, wind and hydrogen power.

In Cushing, Obama called for an expedited review of the portion of the Keystone XL pipeline that would run from Oklahoma to Port Arthur, Texas, despite the fact that his administration refused to approve the entire pipeline earlier this year.

"We're making this new pipeline from Cushing to the Gulf a priority,"he said.

The 7-billion-U.S.-dollar Keystone pipeline, a project of TransCanada, a major North American energy company based in Canada, would run 2,720 km to connect Canada's oil sands to refineries around Houston and the Gulf of Mexico.

U.S. State Department had tried to delay potential approval of the Keystone XL pipeline until 2013 due to intense opposition from environmentalists as well as public officials in the United States.

Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

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