Congressman Markwayne Mullin today called on President Obama to act quickly to approve the Keystone XL pipeline project.
"This important job creating project is already benefiting Oklahoma and once complete will continue to benefit our state as well as help reduce our country's dependence on sources not friendly to the United States," Congressman Mullin said. "In light of the draft environmental impact statement on the northern leg of the Keystone XL, there is little doubt that the pipeline should be built."
The Keystone XL project is a pipeline project that will transport crude oil from Canada and the Bakken Shale Formation in Montana to refineries on the Gulf Coast. Work is already underway to construct the pipeline through parts of Oklahoma but the project's final approval for the northern section has lagged.
The U.S. State Department's draft supplemental report released last week indicated that the pipeline can be built with no significant damage to the environment
Also according to the report, the Keystone XL project will create over 40,000 jobs in the United States and boost spending for goods and services. Costs for construction and materials could total over $3 billion, the report states.
Mullin said he agrees with a March 4 Wall Street Journal editorial stating the White House has "run out of excuses" to further delay approval of the private sector investment that would provide much-needed jobs for America.
In Oklahoma alone, construction of the three pipeline spreads from Cushing to the Gulf Coast is resulting in per spread monthly spending of approximately $2 million in construction costs and employing around 1,000 people. One of the spreads is located entirely in Oklahoma, according to TransCanada Project Representative Jim Prescott.
Once work on the pipeline in Oklahoma is completed, pump stations and seven new storage tanks will remain in our state, Prescott said. Property tax revenues from the pump stations and the pipeline will continue to benefit Oklahoma for many years to come.
"The economic boost on everything from sales taxes on purchases by workers to costs for goods and supplies for the actual project are exactly the kind of economic growth this country desperately needs right now. And it can all be done in the private sector - without government spending!"
"This project has been delayed far too long while Americans have struggled with rising gas prices and a sluggish economy," Mullin said. "A real economic boost for America is within the president's grasp."
Mullin said he hopes one day soon government will stop putting up endless hurdles for businesses to jump in order to succeed.
"The fact that the process to green-light this project has taken so long is another example of how the federal government's bureaucracy and red-tape is stifling economic growth. I urge the President to act quickly to bring about this boost to the nation's economy and let America reduce its dependency on countries who don't have our best interests in mind."