President Obama announced Thursday that he will expedite permits for the southern portion of the controversial Keystone pipeline—which had been a sticking point for Republicans during February’s payroll-tax argument. Speaking in Oklahoma, Obama said he will issue an executive order allowing the federal permitting of infrastructure projects. Calgary-based TransCanada has said it hopes to build the $2.3 billion Oklahoma-to-Texas portion of the pipeline next year. Republicans have hit Obama hard on his energy proposals—especially after solar-energy company Solyndra failed, despite receiving government money.
FAST-TRACK Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo