It's been more than 1,700 days since TransCanada first submitted its application to the U.S. State Department for a Presidential Permit to construct the Keystone XL. Here are five things you should know about the landmark jobs and energy project:
1. The Keystone XL pipeline is a $7 billion private-sector infrastructure project that will bring thousands of jobs and greater energy security to America.
2. The Keystone XL pipeline is the most studied pipeline project in our nation's history. With over four-and-a-half years of review, the State Department has issued over 15,500 pages of documents related to Keystone's analysis. Other pipeline projects requiring a Presidential Permit usually take 18 to 24 months to review and approve. Despite Keystone's already exhaustive review, EPA is trying to further delay the project and its jobs by calling for additional studies. Unfortunately, reports now suggest the administration will push its decision on Keystone and its jobs until after summer or possibly even later.
3. Major labor groups support the project. Recently, hundreds of union construction workers took to the streets of Washington, D.C., to urge President Obama to approve the job-creating Keystone XL pipeline. Union workers rallied support for the pipeline, some waving signs that read, "Keystone XL Creates AMERICAN JOBS." The rally was just the latest public display of strong union support for the Keystone project.
4. It has broad, bipartisan support. Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate have come out in strong support for Keystone. A budget amendment urging approval of the pipeline recently received 62 votes in the Senate, including 17 Democrats. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) recently stated, "Enough analysis: it's time to put Montanans to work on Keystone. Four and a half years after the Keystone pipeline was first proposed, we need the jobs and the energy independence it provides more than ever."
5. Keystone XL will be one of the nation's safest pipelines. Keystone will be built with state-of-the-art technologies and incorporate 57 additional safety standards proposed by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. According to the State Department's August 2011, Final Environmental Impact Statement, these conditions would give the Keystone XL pipeline "a degree of safety greater than any typically constructed domestic oil pipeline system under current regulations."