By Rebecca Shabad - 12/10/13 01:03 PM EST
Oil is now being pumped into the controversial Keystone XL pipeline’s southern leg, which spans from Oklahoma to the Texas coast, The Houston Chronicle reports.
“TransCanada is pleased to confirm that at approximately 10:04 am Central Time on Saturday, December 7, 2013, the company began to inject oil into the Gulf Coast Project pipeline as it moves closer to the start of commercial service,” TransCanada spokesman Shawn Howard said in an email, according to the Chronicle.
TransCanada is the developer for the pipeline. The company intends to fill the pipeline in the next few weeks with three million barrels of oil, the report says.
While major companies have urged the president to sign off on the project, a number of recent career moves and statements by administration officials have suggested Obama will reject it.
His former energy and climate czar, Carol Browner, predicted in October the president would deny its construction.
John Podesta, White House chief of staff to former President Clinton, is also returning to the White House to help advise the administration on environmental policy. He’s previously denounced the type of oil the pipeline would transport, suggesting he’d influence Obama to reject it.
The president is expected to make a decision on the pipeline’s fate by the end of March.