Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Tuesday that President Barack Obama's move to delay a decision on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline puts American lives in danger.
Perry has made energy exploration and drilling for oil a central tenant of his policy for fixing the economy as a Republican presidential candidate.
The Obama administration delayed a decision on the controversial project around the Keystone pipeline until after the 2012 election. Most of the GOP field has embraced the project.
When Sean Hannity asked Perry about the Keystone XL pipeline on the radio Tuesday, Perry blasted Obama.
"That is stunning to me. Those tar sands are going to either go west to China or south to the United States," Perry said, later adding "Buying Canadian crude and bringin' it in to the United States makes abundant good sense. And this president is putting American soldiers' lives in jeopardy with this as well as the security of America."
Listen to the full interview above.
The Keystone XL pipeline has been protested extensively by environmental activists. An estimated 10,000 showed up outside the White House recently.
The pipeline project would carry oil from the tar sands in Alberta, Canada to Texas refineries. Those against the pipeline worry about the harm a spill or a leak could cause in the central region of the U.S.
"This is not an environmental issue. There are pipelines all across that part of the United States that have been safely movin' petroleum products for years," Perry said.
Perry tied it to a security issue, saying American soldiers are tied up with countries in the Middle East that are hostile towards the U.S.
"This is about catering to [Obama's] base and the radical environmental base out there," Perry said. "And it is about American jobs, but even more importantly it is about the security of America."