IN THE NEWS
According to the Washington Post, President Obama will meet with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the White House this afternoon to discuss agreements to improve cross-border trade and security. During this meeting, it is likely that the Prime Minister’s will voice his support for the U.S. approval and development of the Keystone Pipeline.
The 1,700-mile pipeline proposed by Calgary-based TransCanada would carry as much as 700,000 barrels of oil a day from tar sands in Alberta, Canada, to refineries in Texas, passing through Montana, South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma. The Keystone Pipeline would create thousands of jobs, and begin addressing essential national energy security issues. Unfortunately, the White House has ordered a politically motivated federal review of the project that would effectively delay the final decision on the pipeline until after the November, 2012 election.
In advance of today’s meeting between the President and the Prime Minister, Speaker Boehner cited Harper’s support for the Keystone project and called on Obama to move forward on the job creating venture:
“When the administration first abandoned American jobs by irresponsibly punting on this project, it blamed issues with the state of Nebraska. In the weeks since, Nebraska has unanimously passed legislation to coordinate with the federal government so work can begin on the pipeline as soon as possible. While it might make for inconvenient politics for the President, the administration is out of excuses and running out of time. Prime Minister Harper has made clear that if this project is not approved, American competitors, such as China, will gain from our loss. This project is good for the economy, and it’s good for America’s energy security. With Nebraska already taking action, it is my hope that the President will use today’s meeting with the Prime Minister to announce the project’s approval. If he doesn’t, the House is prepared to act to accelerate the approval so that we can put tens of thousands of Americans back to work.”
TransCanada and Nebraska politicians have recently reached an agreement to reroute the pipeline away from the environmentally sensitive Nebraska aquifer – a deal that project supporters say could enable immediate federal action. However, regardless of this agreement, the President continues to delay his final decision on the much needed pipeline construction.
WHAT ARE HOUSE REPUBLICANS DOING?
In December, 2011, Representative Terry (R-NE) introduced H.R. 3548, the North American Energy Access Act, a bill that would replace the President’s authority to approve or disapprove the pipeline project with a structured process by which the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) would approve it. Thus, construction could begin on the non-modified portion of the pipeline while details and approval of the Nebraska route modification are worked out. Congressman Terry made the following statement regarding his bill:
"The American people want us to stop buying Venezuelan oil. The Keystone Pipeline is a key component to making that happen. Going forward with FERC is simply moving the authority to an agency that understands pipelines. This legislation means that Keystone will progress in a timely manner and that our country gets the much-needed jobs and energy security that it will bring.”
Republicans understand that it’s time to tear down the barriers to American energy production. On November 9, House Republicans sent a letter to the President demanding action on the Keystone XL Pipeline project.
“Mr. President, each day that you postpone the decision beyond the 90-day interagency comment period […] is another day that thousands of Americans remain unemployed while awaiting a job to build the pipeline or refine the product it delivers. We urge you to delay no further and with the stroke of your pen approve the permit, put these Americans to work, and advance our nation’s energy security.”
The American Energy Initiative is an ongoing effort by House Republicans to address rising gasoline prices and expand American energy production. As the President continues to pursue counter-productive policies that harm consumers and discourage the production of American energy, House Republicans are committed to finding sensible solutions to families’ rapidly rising energy costs and putting Americans back to work.
For questions or further information contact Sarah Makin