Sen. John CornynJohn CornynGOP chairmen stake out turf in Obama-era probes Cornyn presses DOJ to release results of investigation into Larry Nassar probe Minority caucuses call for quick action on police reform MORE (R-Texas) blasted President Obama for not approving the northern portion of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

“With the stroke of a pen, President Obama could approve the remainder of the Keystone XL Pipeline today and stop standing in the way of job creation, economic growth, and a chance to become less dependent on unstable sources of energy,” Cornyn said.


Cornyn’s comments came as the southern leg began operating Wednesday with oil flowing through the pipeline from Cushing, Okla., to Nederland, Texas.

“The production of 700,000 barrels of oil daily and the creation of thousands of jobs is proof of what can happen when the federal government is kept from interfering in the growth of private industry,” Cornyn said. 

The northern leg remains under review by the State Department, and the Obama administration is under heavy pressure from environmental groups to reject it.

Some environmental groups criticized Obama Wednesday for even allowing the southern leg to begin operating.

Many Republicans have said the pipeline would help create U.S. jobs and ensure that the crude oil from the Canadian oil sands were processed in a cleaner way within the United States, rather than being shipped for processing and consumption to China, where environmental standards are more lax.

Cornyn has also advocated for the full pipeline because he says it’s better for the United States to partner with Canada to meet U.S. oil demands than with unstable Middle Eastern countries.