Gov. Heineman to Obama: Time to make a decision on Keystone

Will Obama make decision on pipeline?


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," February 26, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, from pipeline to pipe dream. President Obama is telling Republican governors that it's going to take him a few more months to figure out what to do with the Keystone XL pipeline. Well, it's already been five years.

Nebraska's Republican governor is tired of waiting. Dave Heineman, welcome back with us.

Governor, five years is a long time to be sort of musing and thinking. What's the deal?

GOV. DAVE HEINEMAN, R-NE.B: Neil, it's far too long. He's had five years. It's time to make a decision. And, really, this is about America's energy independence, less reliance on Middle Eastern oil, and it's about American jobs. The national unemployment rate is 6.5 percent. That's too high. I'm lucky here in Nebraska. We're at 3.6. But let's put America back to work and let's build this pipeline.

CAVUTO: Governor, when -- when you have spoken to the president, what is the argument for even more months now? Is it to run out the clock? Is it the feeling that, look, we're seeing a surge in jobs across the country, not a big one, unemployment rates coming down, this whole issue about jobs might just go away?

What -- I'm trying to give the benefit of the doubt, trying to get a sense of why there would be such a delay. Either put up or shut up, yea or nay, but move on.

HEINEMAN: You know, I can't speak for the president. I think he should have made the decision years ago, but my sense is, he's trying to decide between his environmental left supporters...

CAVUTO: Right.

HEINEMAN: ... and labor unions who want to put their workers back to work, which is what we should be doing.

Frankly, I was surprised when he said he was going to make the decision in the next couple of months, which I interpret two, three, four months at the most. I thought this might go on the remainder of his term, because I don't see a reason to delay.

His decision is all about the international border crossing from Canada to America in our national interest. I don't think there's any question it's in America's national interest to build the Keystone pipeline.

CAVUTO: So what do the Canadians do? They are getting frustrated. They are getting impatient. What's your fear?

HEINEMAN: You know, if I were them, I would be getting -- frustrating, too. We continue to talk to them.

We have approved the route over a year ago. It really is time for our government to make a decision, yes or no. No more delay. At -- at this stage, I wish it wasn't even a couple more months, because, you know, my guess is, he's got a pretty good idea what he wants to do right now. He's just not sharing it with us yet.

CAVUTO: Do you think there will be a deal in the end, Governor, that the president will attach a lot of environmental restrictions to this, or on the flip side, cool it on fracking to give you that pipeline?

HEINEMAN: I have no idea exactly what he's thinking. It's hard to...

CAVUTO: Well, what -- what would you think of a deal like that?

HEINEMAN: I think it ought to be a straight-up decision: Yes, we're going to build a pipeline, or if he wants to say no, but let's don't attach a bunch of conditions to it.

This thing has been studied to death. We did own our environmental impact statement out here. It is minimal environmental impact through the state of Nebraska. Other states have done the same thing. Neil, it's time to move forward. This is about jobs, jobs and more jobs.

CAVUTO: Wow. It is amazing.

Governor, thank you very, very much.

HEINEMAN: Good to -- good to be with you, Neil.

CAVUTO: Yes, just one way or the other. Just make a decision.

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