U.S. Representative Glenn "GT' Thompson today voted in favor of a bill to move forward with completion of the Keystone XL Pipeline. The measure, H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act, was approved with bipartisan support, 24-17, by the House Natural Resources Committee. On March 23, 2013, the U.S. Senate approved the project as part of the 2014 Budget Resolution by a bipartisan vote of 62-37.
"The Obama Administration has attempted to use every excuse in its ongoing obstruction of the Keystone XL Pipeline," state Rep. Thompson. "The Northern Route Approval Act will advance this vital and environmentally sound energy project that is good for our economy and a step toward greater energy self-sufficiency."
TransCanada, a Canadian company, proposed Keystone XL Pipeline to transport oil sands crude from western Canada to Gulf Coast refineries. Because the Keystone XL would cross the U.S.-Canadian border, the project requires a Presidential Permit from the U.S. State Department.
The environmental review process has been more rigorous than similar previously approved projects, such as the Alaska Pipeline. The State Department has found the project to be in the national interest and posing no significant environmental impacts, however, the Administration has repeatedly denied and delayed approval.
"The Keystone XL has been extensively studied and found to be both environmentally sound and economically beneficial," Rep. Thompson added. "It's a major loss for the U.S. economy if we fail to approve this project and Canada, a great American ally and trade partner, is forced to consider other alternatives for export. Either the U.S. takes advantage of this opportunity or we're going to lose out."
Keystone XL will include a number of state-of-the-art features, including the incorporation of 57 additional safety standards proposed by TransCanada and the U.S. Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, that will make it the safest oil pipeline in existence.
TransCanada estimates that the pipeline, if approved, would create 20,000 direct jobs, while the State Department has projected 42,100 direct and indirect American jobs.