Hoeven Makes the Case for Keystone Pipeline, Coal Ash Provisions in Final Highway Bill

Bipartisan Measures Should be Included on their Merits, Senator Says

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven made the case for including key provisions in the final surface transportation bill that approve the Keystone XL pipeline and ensure the continued recycling of coal ash. Hoeven, who introduced legislation on these measures in the Senate, spoke late yesterday at the inaugural meeting of the conference committee that is charged with reconciling the U.S. House and Senate versions of the transportation bill.

The House version of the bill includes the Keystone XL pipeline bill and the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act. Hoeven said both measures, which have bipartisan support and provide important energy infrastructure, should be included in the final bill.

“These provisions are integral to a highway bill, and both enjoy strong bipartisan support. But, it’s not just that they’re bipartisan, we need to include them on their merits,” said Hoeven. “These are two strong infrastructure measures that will create jobs and strengthen our economy with good environmental stewardship.”

Hoeven’s coal recycling measure has support from Republicans and Democrats, as well as the support of the traditional energy industry. Hoeven said the coal recycling measure is a good fit for the transportation bill because coal residuals are recycled and used as a construction material to build roads, helping to bring down highway construction costs.

The Keystone XL measure Hoeven introduced would approve the pipeline project. It also has bipartisan support and narrowly missed passage in March, with a majority of senators voting for it, 56 to 44, and two supporters unable to make the vote. A 60 vote majority was needed to pass. In the House, 293 members, including 69 Democrats, supported the transportation bill with the Keystone provision. The project has attracted broad support from organization across the country, from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable to the AFL-CIO and the Teamsters.

The pipeline will transport 830,000 barrels of oil per day to U.S. refineries, including 100,000 barrel a day of North Dakota crude. The additional pipeline capacity and gathering systems will take as many as 500 trucks a day off roads in the North Dakota oil patch, which is important for public safety as well as wear and tear on highways. The $7 billion, 1,700-mile, high-tech transcontinental pipeline would reduce our dependence on Middle East oil, and help to lower rising fuel costs, said Hoeven.