WASHINGTON D.C. - U.S. Senator John Boozman continues his commitment to help create private sector jobs and decrease our nation’s reliance on energy resources from violent regimes by advancing efforts to build the Keystone XL pipeline.
Boozman joins 43 other Senators in introducing legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline project under Congress’s authority enumerated in the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8.
“This project has a tremendous impact on Arkansas businesses hired to construct and produce the steel used for the pipeline. These businesses have invested millions of dollars to help build a tool to provide a reliable source of energy. This is a practical way to provide Americans with well-paying job opportunities while reducing our dependence on oil from violent Middle Eastern regimes,” Boozman said. “In the State of the Union address, President Obama said he is for an ‘all-of-the-above’ approach to our nation’s energy, but he rejected a vital project of national importance that provides employment for hardworking Americans and puts us on the path to energy security.”
The legislation authorizes TransCanada to construct and operate the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to the U.S. Gulf Coast, transporting an additional 830,000 barrels of oil per day to U.S. refineries, which includes 100,000 barrels a day from the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana. The bill allows the company to move forward with construction of the pipeline in the United States while the state of Nebraska works to determine an alternative route.
“The Keystone XL pipeline project has been under review for more than three years, yet President Obama claims the 60-day provision included in the payroll tax cut extension does not allow an adequate amount of time to review the project. The reality is the Keystone XL pipeline has been studied to death and we have yet to find a reason not to move forward with it,” Boozman said.
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 U.S. State Department the end of 2011. By contrast, the original Keystone pipeline took two years to review and became operational last year.
This legislation builds off the completed Environmental Impact Statement, completed by the State Department on Aug. 26, 2011. Additionally, it requires the State Department to enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) within 30 days with the state of Nebraska to assist in rerouting in that state, which will be subject to the Nebraska governor’s agreement on the route within the state. However, it allows Nebraska all the time it needs to identify a new route within the state to strengthen the completed Environmental Impact Statement.
Further, the legislation requires strong environmental and safety requirements by incorporating the environmental and safety standards required and finalized by the Secretary of State. At the same time, the bill protects state and local laws relating to the protection of private property rights by ensuring those laws are not changed in this process.
Senators John Hoeven, (R-N.D.), Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) and David Vitter (R-La.) introduced the legislation cosponsored by Boozman and in addition to Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), John Thune (R-S.D.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Ala.), John Kyle (R-Ariz.)’ Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Patrick Toomey (R-Penn.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), John Risch (R-Idaho), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).