House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders today responded to TransCanada's reapplication for a Presidential Permit to construct the Keystone XL pipeline. The company submitted its original permit for the pipeline's construction in September 2008, which President Obama delayed consideration of, and eventually denied, in January 2012, after multiple federal bureaucratic reviews.
"I am pleased to see TransCanada is moving forward with the permitting process, bringing us one step closer toward greater energy security and job creation. The benefits of the Keystone XL are as substantial as they are obvious -- 20,000 direct jobs and access to tremendous crude supplies from our northern neighbor and ally. We cannot afford to wait another three and a half years. The president's rejection of the pipeline's original permit forced Canada to look to alternative buyers for their rich oil supplies. If we don't act quickly, we risk losing this North American energy source to China and other global competitors.
"TransCanada moved rapidly to respond to the president's stated objections and is working with the state of Nebraska to develop an alternate route. However, given the president's track record, I am not confident the administration will get the job done without congressional action. The president's record on Keystone suggests he will let the decision slip past election day. Politics prevented President Obama from approving the permit the first time around, so we have come up with a solution to take presidential politics out of the pipeline equation and relieve the president of this responsibility. A veto-proof majority in the House approved this plan as part of the transportation bill, and I will work with my colleagues on the conference committee to get this language included in the final package. TransCanada has stepped up to the plate to meet its responsibilities, and the Congress should do no less," said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI).
"Thankfully, TransCanada is moving forward with the permitting process for the Keystone XL pipeline. When complete, this pipeline will bring an additional 800,000 barrels of oil a day to the market and will create 20,000 direct jobs and 100,000 indirect jobs. Unfortunately, due to purely political reasons, President Obama has previously refused to approve this project. We cannot afford another delay, and I welcome the news of TransCanada taking a step closer to making this pipeline a reality. I urge the president to expeditiously approve this permit," said Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY).
"I'm glad to see this project moving forward again. For too long, it has been held up by politics, misinformation, and fear-mongering. For nearly four years, this project has been studied and re-studied. It is in our nation's best interest to reduce our reliance on unfriendly sources of energy such as Venezuela and instead make the most of our closest trade partner, Canada. It is time for us to get the ball rolling," said Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), author of the House-passed legislation.