Hoeven Named to U.S. Senate-House Transportation Conference Committee

Senator's Keystone Measure, Coal Ash Bill Part of Transportation Bill

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today was named to the joint U.S. Senate-House Transportation conference committee charged with reconciling the Senate and House versions of the surface transportation reauthorization bill. The House version includes two key provisions Hoeven introduced in the Senate: the Keystone XL pipeline bill and the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act, which will recycle coal ash. 

“Working on the conference committee will provide an opportunity to help pass a strong surface transportation bill, and also advance two strong energy infrastructure measures that have good bipartisan support as well as support in the U.S. House of Representatives,” Hoeven said. “These two energy infrastructure measures will help to create jobs and create much needed economic activity with good environmental stewardship at a time that our country’s unemployment rate is above 8 percent.” 

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 measure has bipartisan support and the support of the traditional energy industry. Renewable energy interests should support the legislation, as well, because it is about recycling and good environmental stewardship, he said. 

The Keystone XL measure Hoeven introduced would approve the pipeline project. Further advancing the pipeline project last week, TransCanada Corp., the company building the project, submitted a new application to Nebraska officials laying out a new route around the Sandhills region of the state, the only part of the pipeline’s path in contention. The measure Hoeven introduced 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.