Keystone Pipeline Could Bring Gas Prices Down For Oklahomans

Monday, February 27th 2012, 11:34 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

It's a real pain in our wallet. Gas prices in parts of the U.S. have topped $5 a gallon. But experts say a big announcement on Monday could bring prices back down.

TransCanada says it will build that controversial pipeline from Oklahoma to the Gulf of Mexico.

In Cushing sits a "glut" of oil bottlenecked and unable to make it to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. This, as gasoline prices continue to rise.

"There's not pipeline capacity to move that from Cushing to the Gulf Coast," said Steven Agee, PhD, Dean of Oklahoma City University's Meinder's school of Business. "This will help alleviate that problem."

Agee worked in the oil and gas industry for 24 years. He applauds TransCanada's announcement it will build a pipeline from Cushing to the gulf.

"That oil which is just sitting in tanks around Cushing can be used to refine more gasoline and more crude oil by-products which is gonna lower price of products," Agee said.

The southern leg of the pipeline is part of a larger, much more controversial project that would stretch all the way to Canada.

President Obama rejected the permits for that pipeline. But Monday, a White house spokesperson agreed to act quickly on any federal permit on the Cushing to Mexico line.

"We need to get that oil to the state-of-the-art refineries in the gulf and get it to market. And that's an important process," Agee said.

Now there are arguments being made tonight that here in the middle part of the country refineries are able to take advantage of that glut of oil in Cushing and pay less. And that's what keeps prices lower here.

Without that glut, prices would equal out across the country.

Supporters of the pipeline say construction will bring 1200 jobs and an estimated one billion dollar economic impact for the state of Oklahoma.

TransCanada says it plans to start work as soon as possible and have the pipeline completed by late next year.