Hoeven, Bipartisan Group of Senators, Congressman, Business, Labor Leaders Mark 5th Anniversary of KXL Pipeline Application

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and a bipartisan group of lawmakers were joined by leaders from business and labor to mark the fifth anniversary of TransCanada’s original application for the Keystone XL pipeline project with no decision from President Obama.

Participating in today’s news conference were Senators Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Congressman Lee Terry (R-Neb.). Also participating were Sean McGarvey, president of the North America’s Building Trades Unions, and Karen Harbert, president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy Institute.

The $7 billion, 1,700-mile, high-tech Keystone XL pipeline will carry 830,000 barrels of oil a day to U.S. refineries. That includes oil from not only Alberta, Canada, but also 100,000 barrels per day of light, sweet crude from the U.S. Bakken region in Montana and North Dakota. In the construction phase, it will create 42,000 jobs, according to the U.S. State Department. That means more revenues for struggling local economies, as well as for the federal government to help get on top of our deficit and debt.

The Keystone XL is not only an important jobs and economic project; it will also reduce the nation’s dependence on volatile parts of the world for energy, which will make us safer. Right now, between Canada, Mexico and the United States, North America produces more than 78 percent of the oil and gas we consume in the U.S. The Keystone XL pipeline will boost that figure by about 5 percent, taking us from 78 to 83 percent. That puts us well within striking range of the long-sought, long-elusive American goal of true energy security, which strengthens not only our economy, but also our national security.

Congress has expressed support for the Keystone XL with two majority votes in the Senate and several bipartisan letters to the president. The American people have also expressed overwhelming support for the project. In a Harris poll released this summer, 82 percent of voting Americans voiced support for the Keystone XL pipeline project. According to Harris, nine in 10 Republicans and nearly 80 percent of Democrats and Independents believe the pipeline is in our national interest.

Most recently, Senators Hoeven, Landrieu and a bipartisan group of their colleagues introduced a concurrent resolution declaring the Keystone XL pipeline project in the national interest and calling on President Obama to approve it. The resolution notes that every study conducted by the State Department, including the department’s draft Environmental Impact Statement issued in May, has found no significant impacts to the environment.

Every state through which the pipeline passes, including Nebraska, has approved this project, and 57 project-specific features in the design, construction and operation of the Keystone XL have led the State Department to find that the pipeline will have “a degree of safety over any other typically constructed domestic oil pipeline.”

Senators, Congressmen, Labor and Business Leaders Sound Off on the Keystone XL

“The Keystone XL pipeline project will create tens of thousands of jobs, boost our economy, help reduce our dependence on Middle Eastern oil and raise billions of dollars in revenues to address our nation’s deficit and debt. North American oil and gas production is burgeoning, driven by a revolution in new technologies that are producing more energy with better environmental stewardship than ever before and it’s happening right here at home. Every concern has been reasonably answered, and it’s time for economic reality, common sense and the will of the people to prevail. It’s time to approve the Keystone XL pipeline project.” Senator John Hoeven (R-N.D.)

“At a time of high unemployment in the Obama economy, the administration should have long ago approved construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, the single greatest shovel-ready project in America. The President rejected Keystone last year expressly because he didn’t want to offend his left-wing supporters in a political year, despite the pipeline’s potential to create thousands of good jobs and help make our nation more energy independent. With the election long over, and five years after the original application was submitted to build Keystone, it’s time to get this pipeline built.”  Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

“We have delayed building the Keystone XL Pipeline for far too long. The pipeline would give us the opportunity to buy oil from Canada--our neighbor, our ally and one of our greatest trading partners. The Keystone XL pipeline would also allow us to move away from dependence on foreign oil produced by countries who are not our friends, and to move closer to our goal of achieving North American energy independence. The pipeline would also create thousands of good-paying jobs right here at home that could help boost our stagnant economy. Let’s not waste another minute debating the approval of the Keystone Pipeline and finally begin its construction.” Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)

“The president’s failure to lead on energy policy is the single most important reason for why this infrastructure project has been delayed for so many years. Canada is our closest ally and economic partner, and the pipeline adds another route to the extremely integrated North American network. Contrary to the president’s statements, the State Department estimates more than 40,000 jobs would be supported by the Keystone XL project.” Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), ranking member Senate Energy Committee

“It’s frustrating that we are still standing here, five years later, pressing the President to approve this common-sense project. The reasons to approve this pipeline are straightforward and simple: the Keystone XL pipeline would offer secure supply of energy from a trusted ally, create much-needed jobs, and provide a boost to our economy. It’s time for this administration to quit dragging his feet and approve this energy source once and for all.” Senator Mark Begich (D-Alaska)

“Five years and four successful environmental reviews have transpired since the Keystone XL pipeline permit was first submitted. As the president yet again ‘pivots’ back to the topic of jobs in a series of speeches this week, what he likely won’t mention is that he is single-handedly holding up a project that would support tens of thousands of jobs and invest billions of dollars in the U.S. economy. With millions of Americans still unemployed, it’s time for the president to stop pandering to his far-left environmental donor base and approve the Keystone XL project.” Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference

“As President Obama ‘pivots’ back to the economy, he should explain to Americans why he has blocked the Keystone XL Pipeline for five years. This shovel-ready project will create tens of thousands of U.S. jobs and help reduce our dependence on foreign oil. More American energy means more American jobs, and President Obama should stop stalling on Keystone and approve this important project immediately.”  Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)

“It’s disappointing we’re at this point where five years later we still don’t have an answer on the Keystone XL pipeline. Just last month, I visited the oil sands in Canada and it only reinforced how critical the Keystone XL pipeline would be to North Dakota and the U.S.  It’s in our economic, national security, and energy interests to approve this pipeline from our neighbor and ally as we continue to build an all-of-the-above energy strategy that could lead us toward North American energy independence.  This project needs to be approved.” Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.)

“President Obama has reviewed and delayed the Keystone pipeline for more than four years and has shown no interest to move it forward despite coming to the conclusion the Keystone would not have a significant impact on the environment. The Keystone pipeline would create 1,200 jobs immediately for my state of Oklahoma and up to 14,000 jobs over the years.  If we stall any longer, the United States risks losing this economic opportunity and North American energy resource to China. The President tours the country talking about the need to support and build the middle class. Mr. President, here is the perfect opportunity. It is time the United States moves forward on the Keystone pipeline to help encourage economic growth and create well-paid American jobs.” Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.)

“After five years of studies and red tape, it’s well past time to put Americans to work building the Keystone pipeline. The President’s own State Department has released 3 studies showing there will be no harm to the environment.  There are no more excuses left. Americans can’t afford to wait any longer for Keystone jobs.” Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.)

“I will keep fighting for the Keystone Pipeline until it is built to the highest safety standards and with respect for private property rights.  The pipeline will strengthen our economy and let us continue to cut our oil imports from countries that wish us harm.” Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.)

“Why wouldn’t we want to have our energy come from middle America rather than the Middle East?” Congressman Lee Terry (R-Neb.), Chairman of the Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee

“The Keystone pipeline is an important component of our architecture of abundance that is necessary to achieve energy self-sufficiency. In January of 2012, the president resolved to 'do whatever it takes' to create jobs, but here we still are today and the delays continue, five years after the Keystone application was filed. It is time for the president to join the broad coalition of job creators, labor unions, Republicans, and Democrats alike, and say 'yes' to this jobs and energy project.” House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI)

“It took America five years to build the Hoover Dam, one year to build the Empire State Building and four years to build the New Jersey Turnpike. Yet after five years, the Obama Administration has not even finished its review of the Keystone XL pipeline. Keystone is indicative of a much larger problem in this country--it takes far too long to build energy infrastructure, costing us jobs and revenue.” Karen Harbert, president and CEO, Institute for 21st Century Energy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

“The economic benefits of Keystone XL are clear. The project will generate thousands of new jobs, both in the actual construction of the pipeline and in supporting industries like manufacturing, logistics, lodging and dining. While the national unemployment rate hovers around 7-8 percent, unemployment in the construction industry is still over 9%. Keystone XL will immediately allow thousands of the safest, most highly trained workers to begin building this state-of-the-art pipeline.”  Sean McGarvey, President of North America's Building Trades Unions

“Thousands of skilled construction jobs – jobs that feed families, pay mortgages, send kids to college – have been collateral damage in a five year political fight over a pipeline. Today, these jobs are just as important for our economy as they have always been and the Operating Engineers are ready to get to work.” James T. Callahan, General President of the International Union of Operating Engineers