Oil industry chief warns Obama on Canada pipeline - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Oil industry chief warns Obama on Canada pipeline

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The oil industry's top lobbyist is warning the Obama administration to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline or face "huge political consequences" in an election year.

Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, said it would be a "huge mistake" for President Barack Obama to reject the 1,700-mile, Canada-to-Texas pipeline. Obama faces a Feb. 21 deadline to decide whether the $7 billion pipeline is in the national interest.

Speaking at the trade association's annual "State of American Energy" event Wednesday, Gerard said: "Clearly, the Keystone XL pipeline is in the national interest. A determination to decide anything less than that I believe will have huge political consequences."

Many unions support the pipeline, which would create thousands of jobs. Environmentalists fear it could lead to an oil spill disaster.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

APNP-01-04-12 1446CST

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