Lugar - Bill Would Force Keystone Construction Permit in 60 Days

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Bill Would Force Keystone Construction Permit in 60 Days, Lugar – Hoeven – Vitter introduce bill

U.S. Senators introduced legislation today to force the Obama Administration to issue a construction permit for the Keystone XL pipeline in 60 days.

“Jobs will be created right away and billions of dollars in investment will be unleashed through legislation introduced to permit the $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline, the largest infrastructure project ready in the United States, to commence construction,” said U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar, the lead sponsor of the bill. “This is no time for delay.

“Building the TransCanada Keystone pipeline NOW is a dramatic opportunity to change that energy and national security equation.At the same time, we have a dramatic opportunity to create American jobs NOW! Job creation is the number one issue in our nation. The Keystone XL pipeline is the largest infrastructure project ready, NOW, for construction in the United States. President Obama has the opportunity of creating 20,000 new jobs NOW. Incredibly, he has delayed a decision until after the 2012 election apparently in fear of offending a part of his political base and even risking the ire of construction unions who support the pipeline.”

In addition to Lugar (R-IN), lead cosponsors are John Hoeven (R-ND) and David Vitter (R-LA).

“Keystone XL will help secure our nation’s access to North American oil and diminish our reliance on oil from the Middle East, and it will also create thousands of jobs in the process at a time when our nation very much needs them,” said Hoeven. “Together, these two outcomes – big time job creation and reducing our dependency on oil from the Middle East – strengthen our national and energy security and do much to get America back on a healthy economic track.”

“We’re fighting to keep the Keystone XL pipeline project on a realistic timeline for completion,” Vitter said. “This project would create approximately 20,000 new jobs, $7 billion in new investment and provide 700,000 new barrels of oil a day – oil we wouldn’t need from the Middle East. Everyone in Washington talks about saving the economy and creating jobs – this would actually do something about that.”

(See more member comments below.)

Additional co-sponsors include Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Pat Roberts (R-KS), John Barrasso (R-WY), Dan Coats (R-IN), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Jerry Moran (R-KS), John Thune (R-SD), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Jeff Sessions(R-AL), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Jim Risch (R-ID), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Rob Portman (R-OH), Richard Burr (R-NC), Richard Shelby (R-AL), John Boozman (R-AR), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Mike Lee (R-UT), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Dean Heller (R-NV), and Bob Corker (R-TN).

The North American Energy Security Act would:

  • Create Jobs.Create 20,000 direct jobs in building the pipeline and manufacturing.
  • Strengthen National Security. Reduce need for foreign oil from volatile regions by increasing secure trade with Canada and encouraging production in the U.S. Bakken area.
  • Promote economic growth.Boost more than 1,400 U.S. companies that directly sell their products and services for oil sands production and transport.

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, services, and other local economic activity. Over time, strengthening U.S.-Canada oil sands energy cooperation can create hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs. Trade with Canada will accelerate America’s independence from overseas oil and will maximize benefits to complement increased U.S. domestic oil production, usage of more alternative fuels, and vehicle innovation to save fuel and dollars at the gas pump.

 

Lugar-Hoeven-Vitter KXL legislation

• Establishes Congressional affirmation that Keystone XL is good for job creation, economic growth, and national security.

• Requires 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.

• Requires the permit for Keystone XL to contain strong and specific environmental protections and protect states’ rights.

• Requires 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.

• Concludes more than three years of Federal review by deeming the Final Environmental Impact Statement to be adequate.

 

Full text of the bill, a summary, video of today’s press conference and other information may be found at: http://lugar.senate.gov/energy/pipeline/index.cfm.

Keystone XL Background

The proposed 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 ensure that Americans benefit from reliable and secure oil from our largest trading partner.

Additionally, TransCanada also has a responsibility to follow the law, protect the environment, and respect the rights of landowners as construction goes forward.

Despite having spent a record three years reviewing the Keystone XL permit, including two comprehensive environmental evaluations, the Obama Administration recently deferred a decision on the permit until after the 2012 election. The Lugar-Hoeven-Vitter KXL bill will spur job creation quickly – not wait until after the election – and reduce America’s dependence on oil from volatile regions.

The bill is in the jurisdiction of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee where Lugar is ranking member. He will push for its quickest consideration.

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What Senators Are Saying

Sen. Dick Lugar:

“Building the TransCanada Keystone pipeline NOW is a dramatic opportunity to change that energy and national security equation.At the same time, we have a dramatic opportunity to create American jobs NOW! Job creation is the number one issue in our nation. The Keystone XL pipeline is the largest infrastructure project ready, NOW, for construction in the United States. President Obama has the opportunity of creating 20,000 new jobs NOW. Incredibly, he has delayed a decision until after the 2012 election apparently in fear of offending a part of his political base and even risking the ire of construction unions who support the pipeline.”

 Sen. John Hoeven:

“Keystone XL will help secure our nation’s access to North American oil and diminish our reliance on oil from the Middle East, and it will also create thousands of jobs in the process at a time when our nation very much needs them. Together, these two outcomes – big time job creation and reducing our dependency on oil from the Middle East – strengthen our national and energy security and do much to get America back on a healthy economic track.”

 Sen. David Vitter:

“We’re fighting to keep the Keystone XL pipeline project on a realistic timeline for completion. This project would create approximately 20,000 new jobs, $7 billion in new investment and provide 700,000 new barrels of oil a day – oil we wouldn’t need from the Middle East. Everyone in Washington talks about saving the economy and creating jobs – this would actually do something about that.”

 Sen. Lisa Murkowski:

“Green-lighting the Keystone line would create thousands of jobs and increase our supply of oil from our closest ally and biggest trading partner. Opposition to Keystone is misguided. With global demand on the rise, Canada will produce its oil sands regardless of whether America is buying or not. The administration’s decision to delay Keystone will not protect the environment; instead, it only hurts our idled workers, our economy and our energy security.”

 Sen. Mitch McConnell:

“With unemployment at 9 percent and millions of Americans looking for work, it’s unacceptable that the President would put off a decision on construction of the Keystone XL pipeline until after next year’s election. This project will create thousands of direct jobs and generate billions in investments right away, while making our country less dependent on energy from countries often hostile to the United States. There is absolutely no reason to delay a permit decision on the Keystone pipeline—and the jobs that come with it— for another year in a blatant attempt to appease the President’s political base. This is the definition of shovel-ready jobs.”

 Sen. Mike Johanns:

“This bill respects the Nebraska process to protect the Sand Hills while providing a commonsense approach to bring friendly oil and jobs to the U.S. without unnecessary delay. I've said all along that I have nothing against tar sands oil or oil pipelines. Now that TransCanada has agreed to change the pipeline route in Nebraska, it makes sense to ensure the President’s decision on the Keystone XL pipeline is not delayed for political purposes.”

 Sen. John Thune:

“In delaying the Keystone XL pipeline decision until after the election, President Obama chose his own job over hundreds of jobs that could be created in South Dakota. With 14 million Americans currently unemployed and a struggling economy, the Obama Administration owes the country an answer on whether it will approve this job-creating project now, not after the next election.”

 Sen. John Barrasso:

“Americans need jobs now, not presidential politics. The Keystone XL Pipeline would provide thousands of good-paying jobs to Americans across the heartland. Our bill would allow the construction of the pipeline to get started while providing time to address the needs of the State of Nebraska. This is a win-win proposal that President Obama should support.”

 Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison:

“The Keystone XL pipeline fulfills three crucial national needs: It creates jobs, it strengthens our national security by reducing the need for foreign oil from volatile regions, and it will spur economic growth. In Texas, pipeline construction is estimated to spur as much as $2.3 billion in new spending to create jobs. We need to get beyond politics and move forward on this project.”

 Sen. Johnny Isakson:

“The Administration must be an ally, and not an impediment, in the effort to secure America’s energy future. To that end, I am pleased to join my Senate colleagues in cosponsoring this legislation because the Keystone XL Pipeline will immediately increase America’s energy security, strengthen ties with one of America’s strongest allies and create jobs in America.”

 Sen. Mike Crapo:

“It is a no-brainer to support a plan that creates up to 20,000 jobs and pumps $7 billion into our economy. When you also add that the project has received two comprehensive environmental reviews that concluded it is safe, it is hard to believe we are still debating about creating jobs and adding affordable energy to fuel our economy.”

 Sen. Jerry Moran:

“Recent events in the Middle East continue to demonstrate the vital importance of having access to a reliable energy supply. With the promise of thousands of jobs and a secure oil source, the Keystone XL pipeline is good for job creation, good for the economy, and good for national security.”

 Sen. Marco Rubio:
“The Keystone XL pipeline project is an engine for job creation, and it’s also an important tool for enhancing our national security by making us less dependent on foreign oil from unstable and hostile parts of the world. Since the President punted on this tough decision, Congress should send a message that we won’t sit idly as job creation is stalled.”

 Sen. Rob Portman:

“The construction of the Keystone XL pipeline would create thousands of jobs, lessen America’s dependence on foreign oil from unstable regions and strengthen our national energy security. This is the type of pro-growth project that our country needs to generate economic activity for Ohio’s manufacturing base and get us back on track.”

 Sen. Dan Coats:

“This legislation means more jobs and less reliance on Middle East oil. It is a commonsense solution that will secure our energy supply, put Americans back to work and strengthen our economy.”

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