The U.S. House of Representatives today overwhelmingly approved legislation that would clear a number of bureaucratic hurdles for the Keystone Pipeline which has been stuck in the review process for nearly five years.
This may be an exercise in futility, but this is about jobs and North American energy sources. Many of President Obama’s union supporters want this and there’s a chance to get this passed in the U. S. Senate.
The $7 billion private infrastructure investment would bring Canadian oil some 1,700 miles to the American Gulf Coast for processing.
Rep. Jack Kingston (GA-01) said:
“We can’t afford to let this project linger any longer,” Kingston said. “It would directly support 20,000 American jobs without a dime from taxpayers. It would offset half the oil we import from countries in the Middle East with oil from one of our longest-standing allies. It’s time for the Senate to join us in breaking the bureaucratic logjam.”
In addition to the 20,000 jobs the pipeline’s operator, TransCanada, estimates the pipeline’s construction will directly support, economists believe the project will create a total of 118,000 jobs.
To date, the government’s review has lasted more than one day for every mile of proposed pipeline. The State Department’s review has generated 15,500 pages in its study alone.
While Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (R-NV) has not scheduled a vote on similar legislation, the chamber approved a non-binding resolution supporting the pipeline with a filibuster-proof 62 votes.
Kingston’s press release goes on to say:
The delay in approving the Keystone Pipeline – which he likens to his decade-long crusade to deepen Savannah’s harbor – should be a rallying cry to reform the process by which the federal government reviews large infrastructure projects.
“Whether it is Keystone or the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, the federal government bureaucracy is standing in the way of infrastructure investment in this country,” said Kingston. “While we drag our feet, China is preparing itself for the economy of tomorrow. If we don’t fix this process soon, we risk economic stagnation for generations to come.”
Rep. Phil Gingrey (GA-11) said:
“Achieving energy independence is paramount to our economic prosperity and national security. The pipeline, which is privately funded and truly “shovel-ready,” is a step towards that goal,” said Gingrey. “Construction of Keystone XL will put American workers who’ve been hardest-hit by the recession — welders, mechanics, pipefitters and others—back to work. It will also decrease the national security threat of relying on oil from unstable or unfriendly nations. But for more than four years, the pipeline has been held hostage to partisan politics and liberal special interest groups. House Republicans put an end to the Obama administration’s games today.”
Rep. Tom Price (GA-06) issued this statement:
“It’s been more than 1,700 days since the application was first filed with the U.S. State Department to build the Keystone XL Pipeline, only to be stonewalled by the Obama Administration. This issue is neither Republican nor Democrat, liberal nor conservative. In fact, the Democrat-controlled Senate even voted in favor of green-lighting this crucial project. In opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline, President Obama stands alone.”
From Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) Press Release:
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today applauded House passage of the Northern Route Approval Act (H.R. 3), legislation introduced by Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) that approves the Keystone pipeline and eliminates legal and regulatory barriers to its construction and the tens of thousands of jobs it will create:
“When American families hit the road this Memorial Day weekend, they’ll once again be paying the price for the Obama administration’s failed energy policy. Gas prices have nearly doubled on the president’s watch, draining family budgets and making it harder for small businesses to hire. The Northern Route Approval Act, part of Republicans’ plan for economic growth and jobs, will help families and small businesses by approving the Keystone pipeline and removing barriers that could keep it tied up in legal limbo for years.
“The Keystone pipeline will create tens of thousands of American jobs and pump nearly a million barrels of oil to U.S. refineries each day, helping to lower gas prices, boost economic growth, enhance our energy security, and revitalize manufacturing. The project is backed by a majority of the American people, including members of the president’s own party. Labor unions have rallied for its approval, saying it’s ‘not just a pipeline, it’s a lifeline.’ Unfortunately, after nearly five years of blocking the project, it’s a lifeline President Obama is refusing to toss American workers.
“House Republicans will continue fighting for the Keystone pipeline as part of our jobs plan that cuts red tape and unlocks more of America’s resources. It is time for the president to put his political calculations aside, work with Republicans to approve the Keystone pipeline, and advance a growth and jobs agenda that will help our economy grow and put more Americans back to work.”
NOTE: Learn more about the Republican Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs at GOP.gov/jobs
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) on the top end of the pipeline said:
“The Keystone XL pipeline will positively change the structure of American energy as we know it,” said King. “The pipeline will further North American energy independence while allowing our country access to a critical energy source. I have said before and it remains true today that this very same oil will likely be sent to China if the Keystone XL pipeline is not built. The President has made a politically motivated decision to refuse Americans jobs and to deny the vitality of our economy. The State Department found that over 40,000 jobs would be created during construction. My constituents and Americans across the nation understand the benefits of this project, which is why I was pleased to support the Northern Route Approval Act and the building of the Keystone XL pipeline.”
The Keystone Pipeline is about jobs and energy independence.
Reprinted with permission of Zpolitics.com