Congressman Doug Lamborn (CO-05) voted in favor of a bill to move forward with completion of the Keystone XL pipeline today and delivered the following prepared remarks in the House Natural Resources Committee markup session of HR 3, "The Northern Route Approval Act."
Mr. Chairman, I present to the Committee H.R. 3, the "The Northern Route Approval Act." This legislation would remove the requirement for a Presidential Permit for the Keystone XL pipeline and deem the Department of State's Environmental Impact Statement from 2011 as satisfying all National Environmental Policy Act and National Historic Preservation Act requirements.
The Keystone Pipeline is a key component of our future energy security. The Department of Energy estimates it has the capacity to transport up to 830,000 barrels of oil a day, which is nearly half of what the U.S. imports from the Middle East. Further, our own State Department estimates this project will create approximately 42,100 jobs over the 1 to 2 year construction period. This project will also lead to billions of dollars into the U.S. economy.
Unfortunately, from day one, the Obama Administration has put up roadblock after roadblock to prevent the approval of the Keystone pipeline. Most recently, earlier this week the EPA objected to the State Department's most recent 2,000 page environmental analysis, arguing it lacks key information. This after not one, not two, not three, but four environmental studies that have all found the pipeline would have limited adverse environmental impacts. At this point, the Keystone XL pipeline has been more extensively studied than the Alaska pipeline at the time TAPS was improved. In fact, this is one of the most extensively studied pipeline projects in history.
Despite the Administration's roadblocks, and the President's absolute rejection of the pipeline in January 2012, President Obama openly took credit for the construction of the southern section of the pipeline, which did not require his approval.
A project creating tens of thousands of American jobs, transport millions of barrels of oil from a friendly northern neighbor, and significantly contribute to our energy security is clearly be in the best interest in the United States, even if President Obama does not agree.
This legislation ensures construction of the pipeline can move forward so America can begin to benefit from this tremendous opportunity.
I urge to support for this legislation.
The committee passed HR 3 on a bipartisan vote of 24-17.