Nacogdoches Co. landowner praising Keystone XL pipeline rejection

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - One Nacogdoches County landowner is praising President Obama's decision to stop the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline.

Kathy DaSilva owns property along Martin Creek in eastern Nacogdoches County. She says a similar pipeline operation flooded her property with 23 inches of drilling mud.

She's worried TransCanada's project would further contaminate already-polluted areas.

"All of their pipelines have had leaks, this is a very heavy substance this is not crude oil, this is tar sands oil," said DaSilva.

In a written statement, TransCanada, the company building the pipeline, says they weren't entirely surprised by the decision. The company CEO says plans are already underway to re-apply for a permit and complete construction by 2014.

Supporters, including the oil industry and many republicans, say it's a vital job creator.

"This is not the end of the fight. Republicans in Congress will continue to push this because it's good for our country and it's good for our economy and it's good for the American people. Especially those who are looking for work," said House Speaker Rep. John Boehner.

It was estimated the pipeline could have created 20,000 jobs.

Opponents like Nacogdoches landowner Kathy DaSilva argues against the claim this would end American dependence on foreign oil.

"The final product does not look like it would be staying in our country; China has a big investment in this," said Dasilva.

The White House says the deadline set by the House wasn't enough time to assess the environmental and health impact of the project. The earliest that could come is after the next presidential election.

The project hit a snag last year in Nebraska over environmentally-sensitive areas. TransCanada says it's now working with officials to find a new route.

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