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Sidney Herald - Daines: One Step Closer to Approving Keystone Pipeline

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U.S. Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., joined the House Natural Resources Committee this week in approving legislation to allow construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, bypassing the need for President Obama's approval.

The Northern Route Approval Act, which Daines helped introduce last month, now advances to the House floor for a final vote.

"After four and a half years of waiting on President Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, enough is enough. The American people deserve action on this job-creating project, not more of President Obama's delays," Daines said. "With today's advancement of the Northern Route Approval Act, we are one step closer to getting this pipeline approved. The construction of the Keystone XL pipeline means hundreds of good-paying jobs created for Montanans, it means millions of dollars injected into our economy, and it even means lower utility rates for Montanans -- we can't afford to wait any longer."

The Northern Route Approval Act makes it possible for the pipeline to be constructed in its entirety by removing the need for a presidential permit for the northern portion of the Keystone XL pipeline, which is planned to run from the Canadian border to Steele City, Neb.

It also maintains that the final environmental impact statement issued by the Secretary of State on Aug. 26, 2011, satisfies all requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and the National Historic Preservation Act, taking into consideration the Nebraska re-route evaluated earlier this year.

Daines recently completed a two-week statewide tour of Montana's natural resources. While meeting with representatives from Montana's resources-based industries, Daines heard repeatedly of the benefits that Keystone XL construction would hold for the state. Notably, the pipeline will take on 100,000 barrels of Bakken crude each day at an "on-ramp" near Baker.

Daines has been a vocal proponent of the Keystone XL pipeline and has been spearheading efforts in the House to approve the pipeline's construction. In late January, Daines led a group of 150 House members in calling on Obama to approve the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline in light of Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman's approval of a new route through the state of Nebraska.

Daines serves as a member of the House Energy Action Team and the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Minerals.

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