September 19, 2013

Corker: After 5 Years, Obama Administration Is the Only Thing Standing in the Way of Thousands of New Jobs, More North American Energy from Keystone XL Pipeline

WASHINGTON – Five years after TransCanada’s initial application for the Keystone XL pipeline, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, today said the Obama administration is now the only thing standing in the way of thousands of new jobs and access to a large supply of North American energy from completion of the pipeline.  The State Department has yet to approve construction of the final section of the pipeline, which, if completed, will have the capacity to transfer more than 800,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast of the U.S.  

“Despite five years of rigorous review and strong public support for completion of the pipeline, the Obama administration is now the only thing standing in the way of thousands of American jobs, with the potential for many more, and access to a large supply of North American energy.  The president’s vague climate criteria appear to ignore the findings of exhaustive, concrete environmental and economic development analysis that demonstrate the benefits we would reap from this project, which would also strengthen ties with Canada, our largest trading partner.  I urge the president and Secretary Kerry to recognize the value of the pipeline and approve its completion as soon as possible,” said Corker.

In July, President Obama made dismissive comments about the benefits of the Keystone XL pipeline and in June announced a decision on approval of the pipeline would be based upon a new climate standard.  A draft State Department report this year estimates the pipeline would support 42,000 jobs.  The report also concluded there would be no significant environmental impact along the pipeline’s proposed route and other methods of moving the oil could generate significantly more carbon.  For example, according to the report, rail transport of the oil to Canada’s West Coast would cause a 17 percent increase in carbon emissions versus the pipeline.

Harris Interactive revealed in a June 3 poll that 82 percent of registered voters believe the pipeline would benefit the United States.

In the 112th Congress, Corker cosponsored legislation to prevent further delay of the pipeline and to authorize the project under Congress’s authority enumerated in the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8.