Speaking on the floor of the U.S. Senate Wednesday, Senator John Hoeven rebutted claims by opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline that recent spills in Arkansas and Texas warrant denying approval of the project.
"The incidents actually highlight the need to build new infrastructure using the latest technology," Hoeven said. "The Keystone XL pipeline is one of the most advanced and studied pipeline projects in our country's history. It will be monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Satellites will send data from 25,000 data points to the monitoring center. If a drop in pressure is detected, any section of the pipeline can be isolated remotely, closing any of the hundreds of valves on the system within minutes."
Moreover, the recent spills in Arkansas and Texas were promptly addressed, with no lasting impact on the environment, he said. Further, the companies that owned the pipelines are assuming the entire cost of clean-up and are compensating individuals impacted by the spills.
Of all modes, pipelines are the safest and most effective way to transport oil and gas, Hoeven said. "Accidents are 1,000 times more likely to occur when hauling oil by truck versus pipeline. An oil spill is 13 times more likely when moving oil by barge, and five times more likely when you're moving oil by rail than by pipeline. Those are the statistics, safety statistics, on pipelines versus alternative methods of moving oil."
"This project is about more energy for this country. This project is about more jobs for this country. This pipeline is about growing our economy and producing revenues, tax revenues, to help with our debt and deficit -- not by raising taxes but by growing the economy and stimulating more economic activity. And this project is about eliminating our dependence on oil from places like the Middle East and Venezuela. That is a national security issue. It is vital -- it is vital that when we're working on important issues, we deal with the facts, and those are the facts."