CUSHING, Okla. - President Obama arrived in the Sooner state Wednesday night. It's his first stop in Oklahoma since becoming president.
The Commander in Chief stayed in Oklahoma City Wednesday night before traveling to the Cushing area Thursday. Obama is expected to announce plans to fast-track the development of an oil pipeline from Oklahoma to Texas refineries.
News of the appearance in Oklahoma spread quickly in Cushing, the construction site for the pipeline.
Obama most likely will not visit Cushing, but is expected to speak at a pipe storage facility a few miles outside of town.
Cushing residents have strong opinions on the president and the plans for an oil pipeline.
Bill Cubbage, a local attorney, says the town has been reeling since Shell Oil Company left Cushing in 1944, losing nearly a third of its population.
Cubbage believes a pipeline constructed in Cushing would be great for the town. "We are extremely pro-pipeline," he said. "It needs to be done yesterday."
Sitting at a local Cushing restaurant Steer Inn, which donned a "Welcome President Obama" sign for the occasion, John Loftis says the president's arrival is not a pleasant one.
"I'm not eating here any more," he said after the seeing the sign. "You can please Obama or please me. I'm not kidding."
Loftis has worked in the oil industry for 14 years. He says he is pro-oil, just not pro-Obama.
"I thought he was like Don Quixote. He just wanted to build windmills," he said. "I didn't know he had anything to do with pipelines. Now he's changed his mind - to get more votes I guess."
The Cushing Police Department, along with four other agencies, will assist the Secret Service Thursday.
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