Yesterday, I voted for H.R. 3. This bill, called the Northern Route Approval Act, would approve the construction, operation, and maintenance of the Keystone XL pipeline.
I support the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. We need to consider that the review process for the pipeline has now stretched to over 1,700 days. No matter what side of the issue you are on, that is a nonsensical amount of time. The Department of State has published over 15,000 pages of documents relating to the pipeline including the Environmental Impact Statement. The pipeline itself will include over 50 safety features that go above and beyond required standards. Absent this pipeline, the oil would be transported by ships and trains, which would could produce grater levels of greenhouse gases and be more susceptible to accidents and oil spills.
Construction of the pipeline will create 20,000 jobs. A number of labor unions, including the Teamsters, support construction of the pipeline. They know how important the construction, operations and transportation jobs tied to the project are for their members.
I understand the environmental emissions concerns voiced by those in opposition. However, whether the oil carried by the pipeline is used in America or in China it is still going to be used.
The Keystone XL Pipeline is an infrastructure project of large scope that will provide employment primarily and secondarily to Americans. It will also further increase North American dominance in the world energy market, as well as providing for greater North American energy self sufficiency, which will advance American national security interests. H.R. 3 was a good bill and I was proud to vote for it.