Hoeven, U.S. Senators Press for Keystone Pipeline with Leader McConnell on Senate Floor

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today organized a colloquy of U.S. Senators, including Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, to press for passage of the North American Energy Security Act. Hoeven last week led efforts in the Senate to introduce the legislation, which clears the way to build the Keystone XL Pipeline. The new pipeline will carry an additional 700,000 barrels a day of petroleum to U.S. refineries and create thousands of jobs for American workers. 

Hoeven’s legislation would require the Secretary of State to issue a permit within 60 days to allow the Keystone XL project to move ahead unless the President determines that it is not in the national interest. It now has 40 cosponsors, and Hoeven is working to build support. 

“It’s about putting people back to work. It’s about American ingenuity, private investment. It is about getting this economy going. And we have to find ways to save dollars to reduce the spending that's gotten out of control. But a big part of getting out of the deficit and the debt is getting people back to work and getting this economy growing. We’re talking about a project that will create 20,000 construction jobs right up front, 250,000 permanent jobs, $600 million in state and local tax revenues,” Hoeven said. 

“This is a project that reduces our dependence on oil from the Middle East. This is a project that provides better environmental stewardship, as we've described. This is a project where we need to move forward. This body needs to be about solutions. This is a solution. We need to act,” Hoeven said. 

The high-tech transcontinental Keystone XL pipeline is designed to carry crude oil 1,700 miles from Alberta, Canada, and the U.S. Bakken region in North Dakota and Montana to Oklahoma and Gulf Coast refineries. The project would increase total Canadian oil importation by about 30 percent. As the United States’ No. 1 oil trading partner, Canada supplies nearly as much oil as our next two largest suppliers combined. 

Already, a separately operating Keystone pipeline runs through eastern North Dakota on its route from Alberta, Canada, to Patoka, Ill., and Cushing, Okla.  The new Keystone XL would run through eastern Montana and expand existing pipeline capacity, while creating at least 20,000 high-paying jobs during the construction phase, and potentially more than 250,000 permanent jobs, according to a 2010 Perryman Group impact study. 

The U.S. State Department was reviewing the Keystone XL project and expected to announce its decision in early 2012. However, President Barack Obama put the project on hold in early November when he announced that his Administration would review new routes for the pipeline in an effort to circumvent an environmentally sensitive area of Nebraska. The Hoeven bill addresses that issue by allowing Nebraska to decide the route the pipeline should take through its state. 

Joining Senator Hoeven for the colloquy were Republican Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), as well as Senators Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.) Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), and Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Texas).