Today the Committee will consider H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act, bipartisan legislation authored by Representative Lee Terry that will allow construction of the Keystone XL pipeline to proceed.
I am proud to be a cosponsor of this important bill.
Pipelines are the energy lifelines that power nearly all of our daily activities. The hallmark of America's 2.5 million mile pipeline network continues to be that it delivers extraordinary volumes of product reliably, safely, efficiently, and economically.
Pipelines are the safest and most cost-effect means to transport the products that fuel our economy. In fact, pipelines supply more than two-thirds of the energy used in the United States. The Keystone XL project will be a critical addition to this extensive network, increasing our nation's supply of oil and thus helping to reduce the cost of oil.
Of particular interest to taxpayers -- this pipeline doesn't require one federal dollar to build.
Further, the very nature of infrastructure creates jobs, and Keystone is no exception. The U.S. State Department estimates that Keystone XL will produce 42,100 jobs -- jobs that will not be created unless this project goes forward.
This project will have a significant positive economic impact, including an estimated $3.3 billion in direct expenditures for construction and materials and $2.1 billion in earnings.
This committee also deals with the transportation of goods. In our recent hearings on the movement of goods, I think we have all emphasized that we want to encourage a transportation system that is safe and efficient. And the fact of the matter is pipelines are both the safest and most efficient method of transporting oil.
The Keystone XL pipeline will increase the diversity of our oil supplies, requiring less reliance on unstable nations. Canada is already the nation's largest and most reliable trading partner. Moreover, Canada is not a member of OPEC, and sourcing our energy needs there, rather than Venezuela or the Middle East, is in our national interest. As the State Department has found in the past, "non-OPEC Canadian crude oil supplies advance the energy security of the United States, given Canada's close proximity, our free trade agreements, and our close bilateral relationship with this stable democracy."
It is safe to say that the Keystone XL pipeline is the most extensively studied and vetted pipeline project in the history of this country. In fact, I would argue that we are facing a manufactured stalemate, one that could be described as "paralysis by analysis."
After so much evidence that this pipeline can be built and operated safely and that it is in the national interest of the United States, one can only assume that the reason the President has not approved this project is politics.
This project has been fully vetted, and TransCanada has revised its plans to ensure it is built in a way that does not disturb sensitive environmental areas such as the Nebraska Sand Hills.
The Administration has had enough time. The studies have been done and this project checks out. It's time to let this project proceed. The majority of Americans know this is the right thing to do, so the Congress, through this bill, will finally move this project forward.
This project will create jobs, improve the Nation's economy, strengthen our transportation system, and help improve the Nation's economic security.