A bipartisan bill to approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, create thousands of American jobs, and increase the Nation's energy security was approved by the House of Representatives today. H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act, ends the President's long delay of this thoroughly reviewed and vetted project.
"H.R. 3 is a common-sense bill to bring more jobs and greater energy security to the American people," said Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), a cosponsor of the legislation. "Construction of the Keystone XL pipeline continues to be delayed by the President after more than 1,700 days. It is time to do what's best for the American people by approving this long stalled energy and jobs project. The President has failed to lead, so Congress will finally move this project forward."
"This bill represents a significant opportunity to create American jobs and spur economic growth here in the United States," said Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, who also cosponsored the bill. "I believe in an "all-of-the-above' energy strategy and this legislation is one piece of the puzzle to break America's dependence on foreign oil. With an unemployment rate still near 8%, we must do what we can to support the creation of jobs while bolstering our domestic energy independence."
The Keystone project will create 42,100 jobs, according to State Department estimates, and transport approximately 830,000 barrels of oil per day of secure North American oil supplies to U.S. refineries. According to the State Department, "non-OPEC Canadian crude oil supplies advance the energy security of the United States, given Canada's close proximity, our free trade agreements, and our close bilateral relationship with this stable democracy."
The application to build Keystone XL was first filed in September 2008, and the State Department completed the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in August 2011 with a finding that the pipeline would have limited adverse environmental impacts. Construction was also found to be the preferred option among those studied, including the option to not undertake the project. However, the President has delayed approval of the project, and required the project sponsor to apply for a new route through Nebraska. The Governor of Nebraska approved the reroute earlier this year.
H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act, ends the long, drawn-out process of delay by review and finally allows construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.