The Energy and Commerce Committee today advanced legislation to build the Keystone XL pipeline. H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act, will put an end to years of bureaucratic delays and finally allow construction of the project that would create thousands of American jobs and displace overseas imports with millions of barrels of safe and secure Canadian oil supplies. The committee approved the measure by a bipartisan vote of 30 to 18.
H.R. 3, authored by Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), will eliminate the need for a Presidential Permit and find that the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) issued by the Secretary of State on August 26, 2011, shall satisfy all NEPA requirements. The legislation addresses all other necessary federal permits and limits legal challenges that could bring further delays. Similar legislation was necessary in the 1970's to achieve construction of the game-changing Alaska pipeline.
"My bill ends the long-drawn out process of delay-by-review and allows us to begin building the Keystone Pipeline. This issue has been studied in-depth. There are more pages of review on the Keystone Pipeline than make up The Bible, War and Peace, Atlas Shrugged, and Obamacare -- combined," said Terry. "The scientists at the State Department continue to say that there will be no significant impacts to the environment. There is no reason we should continue the delays. I urge my colleagues to join me in passing H.R. 3 so we can begin building the Keystone Pipeline."
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) added, "The Keystone XL project is a critical component of our North American energy independence plan. The American people have waited patiently for over four-and-a-half years for Keystone's jobs and energy supplies, and this bipartisan bill will finally end the delays of this project once and for all."
"Many people say that this is an exercise in futility because if it passes the House it will never pass the Senate, but I would remind everyone that when the Senate adopted its budget recently, there was an amendment in support of the Keystone pipeline that was approved by a vote of 62-37, with 17 Democrats supporting it," said Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY). "I would urge everyone to support this important bill and help America become more energy independent."