Energy industry officials expressed respect for President Barack Obama but skepticism about his visit to the nation’s largest crude oil storage hub Thursday.
The president touted his “all of the above” energy policy and noted that domestic oil drilling and production has increased on his watch. He also pointed out that U.S. oil imports have declined 1 million barrels per day in the past year.
Obama vowed support to “fast track” permitting for the southern leg of the Keystone XL Pipeline from Cushing to Gulf Coast refineries.
“We are drilling all over the place” but pipeline capacity isn’t keeping up, Obama said during a speech at a pipe yard near Cushing used by Keystone builder TransCanada Corp. “There’s a bottleneck right here because we can’t get enough of the oil to refineries fast enough.”
Sounds good, but industry officials argued that Obama was only telling part of the story.
“I think it’s good to see Cushing in the news; it’s so important to U.S. energy,” SemGroup Corp. and Rose Rock Midstream LP CEO Norm Szydlowski said after Obama’s talk.