President Barack Obama arrived in the Cushing area Thursday morning and addressed a crowd of supporters at the TransCanada Pipe Yard.
During his speech, the president announced a directive to federal agencies to fast-track an oil pipeline from the Oklahoma town to refineries on Texas' Gulf Coast. The project is part of the larger Keystone XL project that Obama rejected earlier this year.
President Obama said there's a bottleneck in Cushing "because we can't get enough of the oil to our refineries fast enough. If we could, then we would be able to increase our oil supplies at a time when we need it as much as possible."
TransCanada has applied to build pipeline to speed up that process, and the president announced his support for it.
"Today, I'm directing my administration to cut through the red tape, break through the bureaucratic hurdles, and make this project a priority; to go ahead and get it done."
President Obama is now headed back to Oklahoma City. He'll board Air Force One and leave Tinker Air Force Base around 12:30 p.m.
The president arrived in Cushing Thursday morning after leaving Oklahoma City. There were some questions about whether he would be able to go to Cushing because of the rainy weather, but cloudy skies did not prevent him from flying in Marine One.
This is President Obama's first visit to Oklahoma since taking office. He arrived just before 10 p.m. Wednesday at Tinker Air Force Base. He was greeted by the mayors of Oklahoma City and Midwest City, as well as several military leaders. He also took a few minutes to speak with a small, hand-picked crowd of military members and supporters who were standing on the tarmac.
Stay with News 9 and News9.com for complete coverage of the president's energy tour through Oklahoma.