WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) sponsored legislation introduced today that would require a construction permit to be issued for the Keystone XL pipeline within 60 days of passage. The North America Energy Security Act would reverse President Obama’s announcement earlier this month that he will delay his decision on the permit until after the 2012 election, despite the Administration spending three years reviewing the Keystone XL permit and conducting two comprehensive environmental evaluations of the project.
“Recent events in the Middle East continue to demonstrate the vital importance of having access to a reliable and secure energy supply,” Sen. Moran said. “Allowing the Keystone XL pipeline to move forward would create approximately 20,000 new jobs, bring about $7 billion in new investment, and provide 700,000 new barrels of oil a day to the United States. Kansas is especially impacted by the project’s delay because municipal utilities across the state have already invested in electrical infrastructure to supply power to the pumping stations along the length of the pipeline. Further delaying this project will only stall job creation and economic growth at a time when we need it most."
The completed 1,700 mile Keystone XL pipeline would transport 700,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada and the U.S. Bakken region to U.S. refineries. Canada’s oil sands are among the largest oil reserves in the world. As global demand for oil surges and Canada increases production, the addition of the Keystone XL pipeline will make certain Americans will benefit from reliable and secure oil from our largest trading partner. Additionally, TransCanada – the Canadian Keystone XL pipeline developer – has a responsibility to follow the law, protect the environment, and respect the rights of landowners as construction goes forward.
The $7 billion pipeline cost to be paid by the Keystone XL consortium will fund nearly half a billion dollars in salaries and purchase $6.5 billion worth of materials and services – spurring significant local economic activity. Trade with Canada will also accelerate America’s independence from overseas oil.
The North America Energy Security Act would:
- Establish Congressional affirmation that Keystone XL is good for job creation, economic growth and national security;
- Require the Secretary of State to issue a permit within 60 days to allow the Keystone XL project to move ahead, unless the President publicly determines that it is not in the national interest;
- Require the permit for Keystone XL to contain strong and specific environmental protections and protect states’ rights;
- Require the Federal permit to recognize an alternative route approved by Nebraska, protecting their ability to shift the route of the pipeline to avoid the Sand Hills while not holding up construction elsewhere; and
- Conclude more than three years of Federal review by deeming the Final Environmental Impact Statement to be adequate.
The legislation has 37 cosponsors including Sens. Pat Roberts (R-KS), Dick Lugar (R-IN), John Hoeven (R-ND), David Vitter (R-LA), and Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
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