Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee today reaffirmed their commitment to getting the Keystone XL pipeline built despite President Obama's decision this week to reject the project. Members expressed their deep disappointment in the president's choice to say no to a project that would create tens of thousands of jobs and bring nearly a million barrels of secure oil to this country each day.
"We are absolutely committed-- as a Republican team--to keep the Keystone XL pipeline on the front burner," said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). "The State Department has taken, as you know, over three years on this issue and we are ready for a green light and not a red light."
Upton announced that the committee will have a hearing next week with the State Department testifying. Members will discuss a bill to take the pipeline decision out of the president's hands. H.R. 3548, the North American Energy Access Act, will give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission oversight of the pipeline's permit and instruct the agency to review and approve the pipeline application within 30 days, and to work in coordination with the state of Nebraska to review and approve the route and environmental review developed by the state.
"The American people want us to put aside politics and do what is right," said Rep. Lee Terry, author of H.R. 3548. "It seems to me that it makes more sense that we let the experts on pipelines make decisions on whether this is a safe and sound pipeline, as opposed to a political entity worried about November elections."