Congressman Jim Matheson today protested President Obama's announcement that he will postpone approval of an important oil pipeline that would transport crude oil from Canada to the United States, saying American jobs and American energy security will suffer.
"Families in this country want elected officials to address the jobs crisis and restore economic growth. This project is estimated to create 20,000 high-paying manufacturing and construction jobs and will provide access to affordable sources of energy. I strongly disagree with this decision and repeat my call for the permit to be issued," said Matheson.
Matheson said that the U.S. relies now on crude oil pipelines nationwide to move 71 percent of its oil and petroleum products. Further, he said that the pipeline delay does not mean the oil won't be consumed, but that it will instead be shipped to China, rather than be available for the U.S. where it would replace some of oil purchased from the Middle East.
TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, LP filed an application in 2008 for a Presidential Permit with the Department of State to build and operate the Keystone XL project. The proposal consists of a 1,700-mile crude oil pipeline and related facilities to transport Western Canadian crude oil to delivery points in Oklahoma and Texas.
On Aug. 26, 2011, the U.S. State Department issued the final Environmental Impact States, after consulting with eight federal agencies and the public. It concluded that the pipeline would have "no significant impact" on the environment and recommended that the project move forward.
Secretary Hillary Clinton's special envoy for International Energy Affairs David Goldwyn said last week, "I think that balancing jobs, energy security - I think the case for a pipeline is overwhelming and she will approve it."
"State Department officials and the President should make a decision based on this country's national interest and the facts support that an environmentally-safe, secure delivery of energy warrant the Keystone Pipeline's construction," said Matheson.