Hoeven Statement on the Sixth Anniversary of TransCanada's Permit Application for the Keystone XL

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement to mark the sixth anniversary of TransCanada’s initial permit application for the Keystone XL pipeline, which was submitted on September 19, 2008:

“After six years of inaction, the reasons to approve the Keystone XL pipeline continue to mount. In addition to the jobs, economic activity, enhanced energy security and strengthened national security the Keystone XL pipeline project will create for our country, we can now add concerns about rail safety and long delays in agriculture shipment to the long list of reasons that the Keystone XL pipeline is in the national interest.

“The Keystone XL pipeline will move 830,000 barrels of oil a day, including 100,000 from North Dakota’s Bakken region. That’s 830,000 barrels a day that won’t have to be moved by truck and rail. In fact, to transport the equivalent amount of oil by rail would require 14 unit trains hauling 1,400 tanker cars through North Dakota, Minnesota and other states to either the Gulf of Mexico or Oklahoma.

“Because the pipeline has not been approved and built, however, crude oil shippers have increasingly come to rely on rail to move their product. The amount of oil shipped by rail has increased 42 fold since 2008, from 9,500 carloads to 407,642 carloads, according to the Association of American Railroads. That has created more congestion on the rails, increasing the number of accidents and delaying agricultural shipments. Further, building the Keystone XL pipeline will take 500 trucks a day off our roads.

“Set aside for a minute the lost jobs and economic activity, the added risk to our railway system, the delayed commodity shipments for our farmers and the challenge to the nation’s food supply chain. How can we continue to import oil from the Middle East when we have ongoing turmoil and groups like ISIL in the region that put American national security at risk? That’s why we have put together a letter to the president signed by all 45 Republican senators calling on him to approve the Keystone XL pipeline immediately.

“But clearly, the president’s strategy is to defeat the project by delay, and I don’t believe he will approve it. The good news, however, is that I do believe we will have the votes to approve the project congressionally. I have a bill before Congress right now with 57 supporters, and it is likely we will have the 60 votes necessary for congressional approval after the November election.

“After more than six years of study, five favorable environmental reviews, numerous polls showing the support of the American people and the obvious threat from abroad, it is way past time we take off the blinders and do what is in the best interest of the United States: approve the Keystone XL pipeline.”