Hoeven: President's Decision Not in the National Interest

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement after President Barack Obama rejected a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline: 

“At a time when our nation needs jobs, when our economy is stagnant, and conflict with Iran in the Middle East is threatening our national security and may drive the price of gasoline at the pump to $5 a gallon by summer, the President has decided to say no to the Keystone XL pipeline. This is a shovel-ready project that will create thousands of American jobs and help our nation achieve greater energy independence. The President’s denial makes no sense. 

“Analysts are already projecting $5 per gallon of gas by summer in some places. World markets reacted nervously in the wake of the Iranian navy’s threats in the Strait of Hormuz –through which one-third of the world’s seaborne oil is now shipped. Meanwhile, global demand for oil is growing, especially in China. This is a recipe for dramatically higher energy prices and more personal hardship for working Americans, but our president says ‘no’ to a timely solution. 

“I am committed to working with my colleagues in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to advance approval of the Keystone project. I have drafted legislation that I believe is an effective option and we are already working on that and other options with leadership and fellow senators. If America doesn’t build Keystone, the oil will still be extracted, but instead of being refined in the United States and directed to North American markets, it will be shipped by sea to China, with harmful economic and environmental consequences for our nation. 

“The Keystone XL pipeline has been subject to rigorous environmental analysis for more than three years, and was on schedule to be decided on by the end of 2011, as Secretary of State Clinton made clear. By contrast, the original Keystone pipeline, which runs through my state of North Dakota, took two years to review and became operational last year. The Keystone XL pipeline will enable North Dakota to transport an additional 100,000 barrels of oil a day, strengthening our infrastructure and taking 500 truckloads of oil off our roads every day. 

“We should not delay the Keystone XL pipeline. Our economy, our national security and the financial wellbeing of the American people cannot afford to wait.”