The White House on Monday welcomed a Canadian company's plan to build an oil pipeline from Oklahoma to Texas after President Obama blocked the larger Keystone XL pipeline from Canada.
The new proposal by Calgary-based TransCanada does not require presidential approval because it does not cross a U.S. border. The 485-mile pipeline is expected to cost about $2.3 billion and be completed next year, pending approval at federal, state and local levels.
The Obama administration had suggested development of an Oklahoma-to-Texas line to alleviate an oil bottleneck at a Cushing, Okla., storage hub.
Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline last month, citing uncertainty over a route that avoids the environmentally sensitive Sandhills region in Nebraska. He said that there was not enough time for a fair review before a looming deadline forced on him by Republicans. The action did not kill the project but, for the second time in three months, put off a tough choice on the pipeline project, which has become the focus of a heated political fight.
Pipeline supporters call it an important job creator, while opponents say it would transport "dirty oil" from tar sands that requires huge amounts of energy to extract. They also worry about a possible spill.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said Obama was pleased with TransCanada's latest announcement.