It has been more than four years since the initial Keystone XL pipeline proposal was first submitted to regulators and government officials and despite delay after delay, it now appears that the president has run out of excuses and may have to relent and offer his support to the entire project.
The end result will be the creation of 20,000 jobs and the reduction of our dependence on foreign oil, thereby helping to jump-starting our economy and stabilizing what you’ll pay for gas at the pumps. Instead, he is continuing to play politics with an abundant North American resource and ignoring this critical energy-producing project because of pressure from his left-leaning supporters.
Earlier this month, the U.S. State Department’s second Keystone XL Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement found that the pipeline would have “no significant impacts to most resources along the proposed Project route.” Clearly, the president has no rational reason to keep delaying this project any longer.
The Keystone XL application was submitted in 2008 but in January, 2012 the president rejected the project outright reasoning that his judgment was not “on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project.” At that time, the State Department had spent over three years reviewing the project, which in my opinion is more than enough time to make a decision on a shovel ready project that would increase U.S. jobs, energy, and revenue.
Throughout the 112th Congress, the House voted six times to advance the construction of the pipeline and nearly every time received Senate opposition. So far, in the 113th Congress, I again joined a number of my House colleagues in sending a letter to the president urging him to reconsider his decision, particularly given the creation of a new pipeline route through Nebraska and the support of the Nebraska Governor.
So why all the fuss?
The Keystone XL pipeline is the first step in several that need to be taken to make oil production in the U.S. less burdensome. America would also benefit from encouraging more oil imports from stable allies such as Canada. As the sixth largest producer of crude oil and sand, Canada is a valued trade partner.
And as we all know, the average price of a gallon of gas in Missouri is $3.50 which is $2.00 more than when President Obama took office. These prices affect all aspects of our economy, from the cost of food to hard-working folks like you being able to get to and from work or even plan a modest family trip.
The fact of the matter is that a strong majority of Americans support the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and I think it is time for the president to put his left-leaning political allegiances aside and do what’s right for our country and our energy and economic futures by supporting the XL Pipeline. We must continue to address the country’s energy needs and capacity and I am firmly dedicated to an all-of-the above approach. In May 2012, the State Department estimated a decision on the project would be ready in the first quarter of 2013, so the time to act, Mr. President, is now.
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