Hoeven Introduces Bill to Clear Way For Keystone Pipeline

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today introduced legislation that would clear the way to build the Keystone XL Pipeline, which will carry an additional 700,000 barrels a day of oil to U.S. refineries and create thousands of jobs for American workers. The bill would require the Secretary of State to issue a permit within 60 days to allow the Keystone XL project to move ahead unless the President determines that it is not in the national interest.

            “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,” Hoeven said. “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.”

The $7 billion, high-tech transcontinental petroleum pipeline is designed to carry crude oil from Alberta, Canada, and the U.S. Bakken region in North Dakota and Montana to Oklahoma and Gulf Coast refineries. The project would increase total Canadian oil importation by about 30 percent. As the United States’ No. 1 oil trading partner, Canada supplies nearly as much oil as our next two largest suppliers combined.

Already, a separately operating Keystone pipeline runs through eastern North Dakota on its route from Alberta, Canada, to Patoka, Ill., and Cushing, Okla.  The new Keystone XL would run through eastern Montana and expand existing pipeline capacity, while creating at least 20,000 high-paying jobs during the construction phase, and potentially more than 250,000 permanent jobs, according to a 2010 Perryman Group impact study.

The U.S. State Department was reviewing the 1,700-mile project and expected to announce its decision in early 2012. However, President Barack Obama put the project on hold in early November when he announced that his Administration would review new routes for the pipeline in an effort to circumvent an environmentally sensitive area of Nebraska. The Lugar-Hoeven bill addresses that issue by allowing Nebraska to decide the route the pipeline should take through its state.

“Federal approval for Keystone XL is something that will cost our nation not one penny,” Hoeven said. “What it will do is create assurances in markets that the energy we need to power our nation will be there in the future. It is important to get this project going so we can get Americans back to work and secure an important energy resource for our country.”

Senators Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) and Hoeven introduced the bill, along with co-sponsors David Vitter (R-La.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.); Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Texas), James Risch (R-Idaho), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Tom Coburn (R-Oka.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).Keystone XL Pipeline News Conference