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Arkansas Matters.com - AR GOP Congressmen Push for Pipeline

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By Jonathan Athens

Two Arkansas Republican Congressmen are pushing President Obama to approve a Canadian company's ambitious and controversial proposal to build a $7 billion oil pipeline through the U.S.

Representatives Tim Griffin and Rick Crawford touted TransCanada's plans as vital to the state and national interests.

The Congressmen held a press conference in the storage fields of Welspun where five miles of pipe slated for that pipeline are stockpiled.

Welspin reportedly laid off 60 employees because of the delay in getting the pipeline built.

At issue, environmental concerns. The fight over TransCanada's plans goes back to Nebraska where environmentalists and ranchers have been trying to keep it from being built.

Their big concern has been protecting a sensitive aquifer and their efforts prompted the Obama Administration to halt the project until TransCanada comes up with another route.

At today's news conference, Griffin called the environmental concerns a "red herring."

Congressional Republicans have tried and failed to get fast track approval to get the pipeline built.

President Obama has said he will not make a final decision until after the election.


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