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Public Statements

Northern Route Approval Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. BROWN of Florida. Mr. Chair, this is America, and I fully believe it's possible to build the Keystone pipeline in a way that improves our access to crude oil and puts thousands of people to work, while still protecting citizens from hazardous spills. But we have to hold the industry's feet to the fire and make sure they are taking every possible precaution in building this pipeline.

There are members on both sides who support construction of the pipeline and we could work together to move this project forward, but the Keystone XL has become totally political, with people using it to score points rather than address some of the problems that could arise from its construction. Today's bill is dead on arrival, but here we are once again wasting the House's time on partisan bills the Senate will never take up.

When I chaired the Railroad, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee we held five separate hearings concerning pipeline safety and found significant problems with reporting and inspections, as well as an unhealthy relationship between the pipeline industry and the agencies regulating them. We really need more scrutiny over the construction and operation of the Keystone Pipeline, not less. Deeming permits completed and suspending the Clean Water Act is a very dangerous precedent and will certainly make communities more vulnerable to the death and destruction that pipeline ruptures cause.

With the high unemployment rate this country is currently facing, we should be hiring and training inspectors and putting contractors to work replacing this aging pipeline infrastructure in this country. Gas and oil companies have profited by over $1 trillion dollars over the last decade, while the infrastructure that brings their products to market becomes more unstable and more dangerous.

Every day in America we see our infrastructure crumbling around us. The Association of Civil Engineers gave the nation's transportation infrastructure a grade of D.

That is unacceptable, and the American people deserve better. Let's put people back to work on improving our entire nation's infrastructure. That's a win for the economy and a win for America's workers.

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