Obama says he wants to stop bottleneck at Cushing

CUSHING, Okla. (AP) -- President Barack Obama says he wants to speed up work on a pipeline between Oklahoma and the Gulf Coast to eliminate a glut of oil at the Cushing oil hub.

The president spoke Thursday in a pipeyard near Cushing and said increased oil and gas production were part of his domestic energy policy.

According to TransCanada, the pipeline from Cushing to the Gulf of Mexico will be 484 miles long.

Stop bottleneck at Cushing

Obama also said millions of acres have been opened up for drilling in 23 states, but that the challenge is in delivering material to refineries.

He described Cushing as a "bottleneck" between producers and refineries located along the Texas coast.

The president also said that work on the Keystone XL pipeline between Canada and Cushing is being appropriately reviewed out of environmental concerns in Nebraska. An aquifer there supplies drinking water and irrigation throughout the Great Plains.

On Congress

Obama says Congress took the wrong option when it attempted to force quick approval of an oil pipeline from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast.

The president said congressional politics nearly kept the country from making an informed decision about the northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline.  He said Democrats and Republicans in Nebraska raised questions about whether the original pipeline route was wise and safe.  He said the review exhibits "common sense."

Drilling not a quick fix

Obama says increased drilling across the country would not bring down gasoline prices immediately and that anyone who suggests otherwise hasn't been paying attention.

The president says his administration backs increased oil and gas production but that global economics dictates how prices fluctuate.

Obama noted that the United States uses 20 percent of the world's oil but produces only 2 percent.  He said that even an oil well on the White House lawn or next to the Washington Monument wouldn't bring down gas prices.

Prices have risen since January, making energy more of a political issue this year.

2NEWS reporters Sara Goldenberg and Casey Roebuck will have more coverage on the president's speech on 2NEWS at 5 and 6 p.m.

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