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States should decide on oil production, says economist

Chris Woodward   ( Tuesday, November 13, 2012

An economist thinks President Obama will ultimately approve the Keystone XL pipeline, but he says the president doesn't need to stop there.

Nick Loris of The Heritage Foundation believes that the president will approve the pipeline, but thinks he should open everything from federal lands to the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and beyond.

Loris, Nick (Heritage)"I believe we should open it all up and allow the states to really control their own economic and environmental destiny," he tells OneNewsNow.

"You've seen the dramatic production of oil and gas on private and state-owned lands; it's been a huge economic boon and they've done so in an environmentally sensible manner -- so why not let other states reap these economic benefits?"

Loris adds that if states determine that the price of a barrel of oil is too low and it is uneconomical to drill in some areas, that is fine -- but argues that at least the government should open up these areas and give states the opportunity.

"If we start exporting more then that's fine too, but we should at least have the opportunity to drill and explore these areas that are currently off-limits," he says.

The Keystone XL pipeline was proposed in 2008. President Obama rejected a GOP proposal to fast-track approval in January 2012, citing "the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people."

However, a State Department environmental impact report in August 2011 stated that the pipeline would pose "no significant impacts" to most resources if environmental protection measures are followed, while also acknowledging the pipeline would present "significant adverse effects to certain cultural resources." The State Department postponed a final decision in November 2011.

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