Hoeven Seeks to Attach Keystone Legislation to Highway Bill

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today spoke on the U.S. Senate floor on the importance of the Keystone XL pipeline to the country’s energy independence and job creation, describing it as “vital infrastructure that’s very much needed by our country.” Hoeven filed an amendment yesterday to attach legislation approving the Keystone XL project to an important transportation authorization bill.


“Whether you measure it by jobs, whether you measure it by energy security for this nation –

really, national security with what’s going on in the Middle East, whether you measure it from an environmental stewardship standpoint, it absolutely makes sense to develop this infrastructure,” Hoeven said. “It is time for Congress to act.”


In today’s speech, Hoeven also emphasized that 99 percent of crude oil and 97 percent of refined gasoline stays in the country, rebutting some claims that the Canadian oil will be piped to the U.S. Gulf Coast only to be shipped overseas.

The amendment is legislation that Hoeven, along with a bipartisan group of 44 other senators, introduced last month authorizing TransCanada to construct and operate the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to U.S. refineries. The pipeline would transport an additional 830,000 barrels of oil per day to U.S. refineries, including 100,000 barrels a day from the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana. The legislation would allow TransCanada to move forward with construction of the pipeline in the United States while the state of Nebraska works to determine an alternative route. Hoeven secured an opinion from the non-partisan Congressional Research Service confirming Congress’s constitutional authority to approve the project.


The Keystone XL pipeline project has been under review by the Administration for more than three years, but President Obama rejected it last month saying the 60-day provision authored by Senators Hoeven, Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), and David Vitter (R-La.) included in the payroll tax cut extension bill passed in December didn’t give him enough time to review the project. In fact, the Administration spent three years reviewing the pipeline, and the legislation set no time limit on the State Department’s ability to review the Nebraska portion of the project.