The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure today passed legislation on a bipartisan basis to approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, a project long-delayed by the President that will create thousands of American jobs and increase domestic energy security.
"After more than four years of bureaucratic delays, this bill will finally allow construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, creating thousands of American jobs and displacing overseas imports with millions of barrels of safe and secure oil supplies," said Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA). "This project has been studied more than any other project of its kind. Last Congress, the House voted six separate times to allow for construction of the pipeline. Today the Committee voted to move forward with more jobs and more energy security for Americans."
The Keystone project will create 42,100 jobs, according to State Department estimates, and transport approximately 830,000 barrels of oil per day of secure North American oil supplies to U.S. refineries. According to the State Department, "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."
"This bill represents a significant opportunity to create American jobs and spur economic growth here in the United States," said Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials. "I believe in an "all-of-the-above' energy strategy and this legislation is one piece of the puzzle to break America's dependence on foreign oil. With an unemployment rate still near 8%, we must do what we can to support the creation of jobs while bolstering our domestic energy independence."
The application to build Keystone XL was first filed in September 2008, and the State Department completed the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in August 2011 with a finding that the pipeline would have limited adverse environmental impacts. Construction was also found to be the preferred option among those studied, including the option to not undertake the project. However, the President has delayed approval of the project, and required the project sponsor to apply for a new route through Nebraska. The Governor of Nebraska approved the reroute earlier this year.
H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act, ends the long, drawn-out process of delay by review and finally allows construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.