U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, (KY-01), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, today announced that the House Energy and Commerce Committee 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.
"The goal of North American energy self-sufficiency is within reach, but America can't reach its potential so long as Washington continues to stand in the way," stated Whitfield. "This is much more than a debate about one pipeline. As significant as the jobs and energy from Keystone XL itself are, this bill is nothing less than a referendum on America's energy future and whether we will embrace that future."
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."
H.R. 3 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.
On March 1, the US State Department released a draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) on the Keystone XL pipeline. They found that the Keystone XL Pipeline would have 'no significant impacts' on environment.