Congressman Paul Cook (R-Yucca Valley) signed on to a letter to President Barack Obama this week which urged the President to finalize the approval process for the Keystone XL pipeline.
The President has delayed the nearly-completed approval process citing potential environmental issues. The project's main opponent, Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman, removed his opposition in late January, stating in a letter to the administration that his environmental concerns had been addressed. Heineman now supports the project.
The letter signed by Cook and 24 colleagues on the House Foreign Affairs committee stated, "All reasonable objections to the approval of the pipeline have been addressed. Our economy can no longer be put on hold while the bureaucratic process you set in motion jeopardizes this critical project. You can guarantee Americans the jobs they deserve, and prevent our national security from being undermined, with a simple stroke of the pen. We urge you to do so now."
Cook stated, "This is about jobs, jobs, jobs. I've always said that we can find ways to protect the environment and still boost the economy. This project has accomplished that goal. The Keystone XL pipeline would create an estimated 20,000 new jobs directly and another 200,000 indirectly throughout the US."
"It will also advance our national security by providing secure access to oil from Canada and reduce our reliance on energy imports from countries in the OPEC cartel."
Canadian authorities eager to develop these valuable resources will move forward with or without US participation, but have signaled a long-term shift for energy exports away from the US toward Asia.
Cook said further, "China is ready to take advantage of America's missteps with the Keystone pipeline. We can't continue to forfeit our industrial capabilities to other countries. It hurts families, and it hurts the middle class especially. We need to develop these resources and jobs here, and we can do that by moving forward with Keystone."