Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation (H.R. 3) with the support of Congressman Bill Posey (R-Rockledge) to allow the construction of the $7 billion privately funded Keystone XL Pipeline to move forward. Construction of the Keystone Pipeline has been delayed for years by the Administration after having completed a cumbersome application and review process. It's estimated that construction of the Keystone pipeline will result in the creation of 20,000 direct American jobs and supply consumers with millions of barrels of North American oil.
"The Keystone Pipeline will help make America more secure, less reliant on Middle East oil and create thousands of American jobs," said Congressman Posey. "This project and other energy exploration efforts have long been frozen in bureaucratic limbo which is a major reason why energy development in America has become so costly. We need affordable energy for America's families, to power our economy, fuel our businesses and create more jobs."
Specifically, H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act, ends years of delays in the application process of the Keystone pipeline by removing the need for a Presidential Permit and eliminating unnecessary red tape so the pipeline project can move forward. The legislation also requires the project to adhere to the standards of the National Environmental Policy Act. In 1973 Congress acted to approve the Trans-Alaska Pipeline which faced many of the same hurdles and delays as the Keystone Pipeline.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, when completed the Keystone Pipeline would be able to move up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day -- half the amount of oil the United States imports from the Middle East. About 17% of the oil Americans depend on comes from Saudi Arabia and another 8% is imported from Venezuela, 6% from Nigeria, 5% from Iraq, 3.3% from Angola and 1.5% from Algeria. In total, about 40% of all the crude oil we use is imported from unstable or regimes often at odds with the United States.