The pipeline, which is expected to be completed by mid- to late 2013, is expected to help reduce the glut of oil in storage at Cushing, but opponents worry about the potential environmental impact of moving the product from Canada's oil sands through the region.
The Obama administration rejected TransCanada's application to build the full Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the Gulf, but the company opted to proceed with the south portion.
TransCanada said it has received all necessary permits to build the pipeline between Cushing and refineries in the Houston area.
“Regardless of some people's opinions about this pipeline, we hope that they will conduct themselves in a way that respects the safety and security of our work sites and the employees and contractors working there,” a company spokesman said.
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