House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said Friday that he is not holding out much hope that President Obama will approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
“Though normally a pretty good optimist, I am not overly optimist [sic] that the president will allow the Keystone XL to move forward despite Nebraska’s reroute of the pipeline thru their state,” Upton said in a live Web chat on Michigan news website Mlive.com where he typed out answers to questions.
The fate of the pipeline rests with Obama because it crosses national boundaries.
While most lawmakers want Keystone to go forward, environmental groups hope Obama’s recent comments on climate change — and the confirmation of John Kerry as secretary of State — foretell the project’s end.
Upton noted that a majority of the House supports the pipeline that would bring Canadian oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries. Most senators back the project as well, with 53 of them urging Obama to greenlight it in a letter.
Legislators and industry supporters say the pipeline will bring thousands of jobs, lessen dependence on foreign oil and also help reduce bottlenecks in shipping oil from North Dakota’s booming Bakken region.