Binding legislation would green-light energy infrastructure project immediately
WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 2, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Senators Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., the chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and John Hoeven R-N.D., today introduced legislation that would immediately authorize TransCanada’s application with the State Department to build the Keystone XL pipeline. The binding bill is cosponsored by Sens. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., Jon Tester, D-Mont., Mark Warner, D-Va., Kay Hagan, D-N.C., Mark Begich, D-Alaska, Joe Manchin, D-W.V., Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., John Walsh, D-Mont., and by all Senate Republicans. A vote on the bill is expected in the coming days.
The legislation would also finalize the environmental review process and respects existing private property rights. Construction of the pipeline will create more than 42,000 jobs and generate over $20 billion in economic activity. Sen. Landrieu has long-led the coalition of bipartisan senators, labor leaders and businesses to construct the pipeline, writing to then-Sec. of State Hillary Clinton in March 2011 to urge approval of the project.
“The construction of the Keystone pipeline is very important to create thousands of high-paying jobs, push our economy forward and send a signal to the world that North America intends to step up to the competition and become an energy powerhouse. The review process has been thorough. The five studies that have been conducted, as required by law, are complete. It is time to stop studying and start building. We cannot lose this opportunity to create tens of thousands of jobs and $20 billion in economic activity,” said Sen. Landrieu. “The legislation Sen. Hoeven and I have introduced will green-light the construction of the pipeline immediately. This pipeline is clearly in our national interest, and I urge all senators to join Sen. Hoeven and me to support this bill.”
“The Keystone XL pipeline is a vital energy infrastructure project that the American people clearly favor,” Sen. Hoeven said. “Congress needs to make a decision because the administration has delayed making its decision indefinitely. Our legislation acknowledges the vital national interest this project represents on many levels. It will create thousands of jobs, boost our economy, help to reduce our reliance on Middle Eastern oil and make our country more secure.”
During the last several years, Sen. Landrieu and Sen. Hoeven have partnered to build a strong and broad coalition necessary to construct the Keystone Pipeline. In February, the senators, joined by labor and business leaders, along with national security experts, called for the approval of the pipeline.
Last month, Sens. Landrieu and Heitkamp led an effort by 11 senators calling on the President to implement an explicit timeline for his Administration to decide on the Keystone XL pipeline permit.
Last year, they introduced a bipartisan resolution expressing the sense of Congress that construction of the Keystone pipeline is in the best interest of the nation. The resolution follows a colloquy the two senators participated in to discuss the importance of approving and building the Keystone pipeline.