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Ryan: Keystone approval could be bargaining chip

Paul Ryan

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has floated the possibility of pressing the White House to approve the Keystone XL pipeline as a condition for raising or suspending the federal debt ceiling in 2014.

Ryan, the U.S. House of Representatives Budget Committee Chairman, made the remarks on Dec. 17.

“I, for one, think we need to do more in the energy sector. I believe we need to approve Keystone pipeline. ” Ryan said during an interview with Hugh Hewitt, host of a nationally syndicated radio program. “We need to produce regulatory certainties to all this private capital that develops this energy boon. We could be an energy independent continent within a decade if we stop the government from stopping it from happening. If we just get the government out of the way, it could be a real renaissance of oil and gas exploration in America, lower our gas prices, stop sending this money to foreign countries.”

The Obama administration has said the debt ceiling will need to be raised or suspended at some time in early 2014 in order for the federal government to meet financial obligations. The White House has also said it will not negotiate policy changes in exchange for a debt ceiling suspension or increase, but Republicans in Congress have told the Obama administration to expect policy to come into play.

Mark Haslett has served at KETR since 2013. Since then, the station's news operation has enjoyed an increase in listener engagement and audience metrics, as well recognition in the Texas AP Broadcasters awards.