<html> <head><style type ="text/css">body { font-family: "Bloomberg Prop Unicode I", Verdana, sans-serif; font-size:125%; letter-spacing: -0.3pt; color: #FF9F0F; background-color: #000000; text-align: left; } p {line-height: 1.25em; max-width:900px; width:expression(document.body.clientWidth > 900? "900px": "auto" );} h1, h2, h3 { text-align: left; font-weight: normal; color: #FFFFFF; } h1 { font-size: 130%; } h2 { font-size: 115%; } h3 { font-size: 100%; } #bb-style { font-size: 90%; max-width:900px; width:expression(document.body.clientWidth > 900? "900px": "auto" ); } b, strong { font-weight: bold; } i, em { color: #FEC54A; } pre { font-family: "Andale Mono", "Monaco", "Lucida Console"; letter-spacing: -0.3pt; line-height: 1.25em; } table { border: 0; font-size: 90%; width: 100%; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; } td, tr { text-align: left; } td.numeric { text-align: right; } a:link { color:#53B2F5; text-decoration: none; } a:visited {color:#53B2F5} a:active {color:#53B2F5} a:hover {color:#53B2F5} </style> </head> <body> <p>By Deborah Solomon</p> <p>President Barack Obama traveled to Oklahoma -- the heart of Republican territory -- to beat back criticism that his administration's energy policies are driving up gas prices, announcing an expedited review of a portion of a controversial oil pipeline.</p> <p>The project is a long time in coming and, as <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-27/u-s-should-welcome-the-flow-of-crude-from-canada-s-dirty-oil-sands-view.html">we've said previously</a>, we're glad to see Obama committing to a pipeline that can create jobs and economic growth. But today's announcement was little more than stagecraft.</p> <p>The expedited review is unlikely to affect the project's timeline. As Bloomberg News <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-22/obama-s-speedy-keystone-review-won-t-accelerate-cushing-pipeline.html">reports</a>, the southern leg of TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline is scheduled to begin construction as early as June and company officials say the quicker review is unlikely to affect that timeline.</p> <p>That said, Obama's move is a welcome one, paired as it was with a commitment to expedite other oil and gas projects and a renewed commitment to alternative energy sources. As Obama <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/03/22/remarks-president-american-made-energy">succinctly put it</a>, the U.S. produces 2 percent of the world's oil supply but consumes 20 percent. You can do the math. We need to either produce more, consume less or both.</p> <p>The expedited portion of the pipeline will carry crude from Cushing, Oklahoma, to the Gulf Coast. The overall project, which was denied a permit in January, would carry oil-sands crude from Canada to the Texas coast. Obama reiterated his contention that his administration had no choice but to deny the permit after Congress forced a decision before a requisite environmental review was complete. He has hinted, however, that it will ultimately get approval. We eagerly await that move.</p> <p>(Deborah Solomon is a member of the Bloomberg View editorial board. <a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/deborah_solomon">Follow</a> her on Twitter.)</p> <p>For more quick commentary from Bloomberg View, go to <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/view/the-ticker/">The Ticker</a>.</p> <p> </p> </body> </html>