Gas prices have been on the rise recently. Once again this is a costly reminder that the U.S. has grown dangerously dependent on foreign oil sources and it continues to have a damaging effect on our long term economic growth. That is why the House of Representatives has been focused on advancing legislation which maximizes American energy production. While the House has passed numerous bills designed to set a national energy policy that encourages environmentally sound ways to find and use more traditional and alternative sources of energy in our own country, the bills have all stalled in the Senate.
This week brought more bad news. The Obama Administration announced that they were denying the application for the Keystone Pipeline, a project that has the potential to be a significant boost to our economy. The proposed 1,700 mile pipeline would bring oil from the Canadian tar sands to refineries in the United States, helping to reduce our dependence on oil from the Middle East and Venezuela. Not only would this project provide us with significant access to new energy supplies but it is expected to directly create as many as 20,000 American jobs and has the potential to create as many as 118,000 spin-off jobs. This project has been fully vetted, found to be environmentally sound, and has the support of many including the states along the proposed route, the labor unions and a large number of Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle.
It has been more than three years since the application was filed to build the Keystone Pipeline to bring jobs and energy security to America. The Obama Administration had done everything possible to delay making a decision on this important project until after this year's elections. That is why the Congress recently passed bipartisan legislation that required the President to make a determination about the pipeline within 60 days and gave him the authority to block this project only if it was determined to not be in our national interest. Unfortunately, in just over twenty five days the Administration announced that they would deny the application for the pipeline. This certainly begs the question -- how can a project that will create thousands of American jobs, is environmentally sound and increases energy supplies not be in the best interest of our country?
Abundant and affordable energy and energy conservation are the keys to a strong economy. The Obama Administration's recent decision to block the bipartisan Keystone Pipeline strikes a significant blow to our economic recovery efforts. For that reason, I expect the Congress will do everything within its power to challenge the Administration's decision. Rest assured, as your Congressman, I intend to continue supporting initiatives like the Keystone Pipeline project, which will lessen our reliance on Middle Eastern and Venezuelan oil and ultimately make America stronger.