Keystone XL Pipeline

TransCanada, the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline, is suing the U.S. government because President Obama struck down the next step in the pipeline plan in November. The company says Obama's rejection exceeded his authority under the Constitution, NPR's Jeff Brady reports.

U.S. Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.)
Flickr

Oklahoma U.S. Sen. James Lankford called President Obama’s reasoning for rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline flawed during a floor speech Tuesday night.

The state’s junior Republican Senator said the president gave three reasons for rejecting the project – it wouldn’t contribute to the economy in a meaningful long-term way, it wouldn’t lower gas prices, and that shipping oil into the U.S. from unstable countries wouldn’t increase American energy security.

Ending a process that has lingered for much of his time in the Oval Office, President Obama announced Friday that the U.S. has rejected TransCanada's application for a permit to complete the Keystone XL pipeline.

U.S. Sen. James Lankford speaking on the floor of the U.S. Senate August 4 about the debate he'd like to see on the country's energy policy.
SenatorLankford / YouTube

On Tuesday U.S. Sen. James Lankford called for an energy and climate debate on the chamber’s floor.

Oklahoma’s junior Republican said the country’s energy policy is run by environmental policy based on fears about climate change.

His remarks came just one day after the White House rolled out a new energy proposal designed to cut carbon emissions, and Lankford said the existing Clean Air Act doesn’t allow the Environmental Protection Agency to add more regulations to the existing law.

Gov. Mary Fallin has called on President Obama to approve construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline that would carry oil from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast.

A portion of the pipeline from Cushing to the Gulf Coast is complete and operating, however the northern portion requires presidential approval because it crosses an international border.

Sheri & Brian / Flickr.com

A federal appeals court that usually meets in Denver will be hearing cases in Oklahoma next week.

University of Oklahoma officials announced Thursday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit will hear oral arguments for ten cases next week at the College of Law in Norman.

The judges will convene Tuesday and Wednesday in the college's Dick Bell Courtroom.

Among the cases on the court's docket is one challenging a federal permit that was authorized for the construction of the Keystone Gulf Coast Pipeline.

In February 2012, the Army Corps of Engineers authorized a permit allowing the construction of TransCanada’s Keystone Gulf Coast Pipeline.  The United States District Court of the Western District of Oklahoma affirmed the Corps actions.  Sierra Club, Inc., Clean Energy Future Oklahoma, and the East Texas Sub Regional Planning Commission (collectively “Appellants”) are appealing that decision.  They claim, in part, the Corps did not analyze the environmental consequences the pipeline could have such as the risk and impacts of oil spills or the cumulative and uplands impacts as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”).  Appellants also claim the Corps also violated the Clean Water Act and the Administrative Procedure Act. 

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) is questioning President Obama's threat to veto the approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline the Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee will take up Thursday.

Updated at 5:46 p.m.

The White House says President Obama will veto any congressional legislation that approves the Keystone XL pipeline.

"If this bill passes this Congress, the president wouldn't sign it," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.

Demonstrators outside the Norman City Hall before a city council committee met to discuss changes to oil and gas drilling rules.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

About 60 demonstrators gathered in front of the Norman City Hall Wednesday evening before the city council’s oversight committee met to discuss changes to the Norman’s oil and gas drilling regulations.

The Central Oklahoma Clean Water Coalition hosted the rally. Organizer Casey Holcolm says the current ordinances were written before fracking became so widespread.

Drive down gravel Road 22 in Nebraska's York County, past weathered farmhouses and corn cut to stubble in rich, black loam soil, and you'll find a small barn by the side of the road.

Built of native ponderosa pine, the barn is topped with solar panels. A windmill spins furiously out front.

Known as the Energy Barn, it's a symbol of renewable energy, standing smack on the proposed route of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline — a project of the energy giant TransCanada.

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