Local Political Reaction to Keystone Oil Pipeline Decision

Friday, January 20, 2012 - 11:23am

RIO GRANDE VALLEY - Strong reaction from both political parties concerning President Obama's decision to block the completion of the proposed Keystone oil pipeline.

The project would've transported Canadian oil all the way to the Texas Gulf coast and supporters say it would not only lessen U.S. dependency on foreign oil, but would also create thousands of American jobs. Opponents say the project would damage the environment and local political reaction in the Valley has been split down the aisle. Republican State Representative Aaron Pena stated, "It is the wrong move for Texas. It's the wrong move for the country. We need to be independent not dependent on foreign oil." Democrat State Senator Juan Hinojosa stated, "We just need to be cautious and study the impact to negate any possible damage to the environment."

The decision also caused a big reaction from outside the political spectrum as labor unions and environmental groups are not seeing eye to eye on the rejection. UTPA Environmental Safety Professor Dr. Richard Costello said, "One of the issues associated with the crude oil, that's going to be pumped from the tar sands, it's a very thick crude oil and a lot of the scientists think it's very corrosive and over the years if you're pumping a crude oil, that's corrosive, through a metal pipe line, well ultimately its' going to release oil, there's going to be a spill."

Dr. Costello also says another issue with the pipeline is the lack of monitoring key areas of the pipe itself for leaks.

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