Nixon Endorses Keystone XL, Urges Obama to Move Forward

Published 03/12 2014 06:14PM

Updated 03/12 2014 07:55PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Missouri's governor has joined the ranks of politicians endorsing the expansion of the Keystone Pipeline, known as the Keystone XL project, and is urging the president to move forward on the project.

Environmentalists say the pipeline expansion poses an environmental threat and detractors say the majority of the jobs it will bring will only be temporary.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon points out first that part of the existing keystone pipeline already crosses through Missouri.

Nixon says this expansion is necessary for energy independence. Those pushing for the project want the Obama administration to act now.

"It's an economic benefit as well as energy independence," says Nixon.

Nixon says the expansion of the Keystone Pipeline is vital.

"I think Keystone is important for two reasons," he says. "Energy independence using North
American oil to power us. Number one. And number 2 the jobs it would create."  

Nixon says where the oil flows so do the dollars and Missouri is already profiting.
"Those pipelines, when they come through, they pay taxes. We already have a Keystone
Pipeline in Missouri that goes from Kansas City over to Wood River, Illinois that pays 11 million dollars in taxes to schools
and other things all across our state." said Nixon

Nixon says the need for energy independence is pressing.

"I mean, the problems we're seeing in the Ukraine right now they have natural gas and oil in
those regions," he says. "I mean, do we want to be relying on them and the Middle East for the oil
that we use?"

But, environmentalists have staged protests fearing the greater possibility of oil spills and an impact on global warming.

Both those for and against wrote nearly 125,000 messages to the State Department just in the online board.

Nixon says the state is already addressing environmental concerns on another pipeline.

"We're currently working right now building another pipeline across Missouri called Embridge," says Nixon. "We've worked hand in glove with them to make sure our environmental regulators are permitting them, watching it carefully, they've also reviewed, carefully with them all of their security and safety problems that they might have so we would be a in a good situation." 

Nixon says he's confident with the amount of oversight and regulation Keystone could safely expand in other states.

"We feel very capable of making sure we protect the air and water of the state," he says.

March 17 was the last day the State Department took public comment.

The Washington Post reports opponents to the expansion delivered about 2 million comments asking the project be denied, about twice the number of those in favor.

The Keystone expansion does not directly impact Missouri, but Nixon said the Keystone Pipeline here has a "good record".

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