Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) is urging the White House to reconsider its decision to postpone final approval of the Keystone XL pipeline following the announcement last week that a decision would be delayed until after the 2012 elections. A move many have criticized as a politically calculated choice by the Administration that delays development of important domestic energy resources and prevents the creation of thousands of new American jobs.
Schock joined with others in Congress today in sending a letter to President Obama urging him to take action before the end of the year, which is in line with the Department of State's longstanding public time frame. This is the second letter Schock has sent to the Administration this year on the need for a final decision to be made on the Keystone pipeline.
"I just held a press conference last week on the need for the United States to incorporate domestic energy production with job creation. The news that the Administration is now delaying a final decision is an outrageous setback for job creators and those looking for work. The reality is this announcement to punt a final decision was not based on sound policy, but partisan politics. At a time when millions of Americans are out of work, the 20,000 jobs that would have been created by the final approval of the Keystone XL pipeline shows that the priorities of the White House are very different than that of the rest of the country.
"For months I have been touting the benefits of linking a robust transportation infrastructure bill to domestic energy production to both reinvest in our nation's deteriorating highways, bridges and rails and to also create an environment for job growth immediately and in to the future. Since taking office, the Obama Administration has stood in the way of American energy production, decisions that have cost this country jobs, made us less secure and raised energy prices. Since January 2009, the national average for a gallon of gas has doubled from $1.84 per gallon to $3.44 per gallon today.
"In numerous instances this year the House has acted and passed legislation focused on domestic energy production, including voting to expedite the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. As with over 100 other pieces of legislation, the Senate has yet to act. I believe now is the time for both the Senate and the President to move forward and ensure the approval of the Keystone pipeline is approved by the end of the year. Failure to do so will further set us back in terms of job creation and domestic energy production."
Earlier this year, Schock voted for the House passed H.R. 1938, North-American Made Energy Security Act, that required a decision to be made by the Obama administration on the Keystone XL project by November 1.
Dear Mr. President:
We are writing to express our deep frustration over news that a decision on the Keystone XL Project will be further delayed until after next year's presidential election. The decision by Nebraska's legislature to vote on this project without any delay shows the American people's resolve to create jobs and ensure our energy security. We ask you to take action before the end of the year in line with the Department of State's longstanding public timeline.
As you know, the permit application for the Keystone XL Project was submitted over three years ago, in September of 2008. Since then, this pipeline has undergone three stages of public environmental impact studies (draft, supplemental, and final) as well as detailed, public economic and national security reviews by myriad academics, consultants, and experts. The Keystone XL Project's unusually protracted permit application process has allowed ample time and opportunity for public debates and investigations. Any further delay in this process will only be viewed as placing political gain over the U.S. economy and security.
Satisfying America's future energy needs will require a willingness to commit to a variety of resources and technologies. Natural disasters and volatile political climates in places like the Middle East and Venezuela mean the global oil supply will remain susceptible to disruption with potentially severe impacts on the global economy and our national security. Canadian oil, combined with domestic fossil fuels and alternative energy innovations, will go a long way toward determining our country's energy security. Construction of the pipeline will create thousands of jobs and inject millions of dollars into local economies. While the Keystone XL Project cannot solve America's energy crisis alone, it is necessary step for the U.S. economy, U.S. national security and U.S. energy needs.
Mr. President, the American people should not have to watch this job creating project fail because of partisan concerns; our national security and economy are too important. The time to make a decision is now.
Shelley Moore Capito
Mary Bono Mack
Cathy McMorris Rodgers
Ann Marie Buerkle
Francisco "Quico" Canseco