Despite the fact that gas prices have doubled since he took office, President Obama continues to pursue energy policies that discourage or prevent domestic energy production, forcing our nation to rely on imports from unstable regions. The president says he supports an “all of the above” energy policy, but after rejecting ideas like the Keystone XL pipeline, drilling in ANWR, greater offshore production, and issuing additional leases, it appears more like a “none of the above” policy.
From The Wall Street Journal:
President Obama claims that voters aren’t stupid about gas prices, but then they’d have to be to understand his energy policy. Try to parse the latest turn—make that backward triple somersault with two twists—in the Keystone XL pipeline saga.
Yesterday TransCanada announced that it plans to break up the $7.6 billion project into several stand-alone parts, beginning immediately with a leg connecting Cushing, Oklahoma with the Gulf Coast. The original plan was to connect U.S. refiners with Alberta’s oil sands crude and other Canadian and U.S. energy resources, but to mollify the environmental lobby Mr. Obama’s State Department refused to issue the cross-border permits last month.
Now, apparently, it’s time to mollify the Administration’s union supporters that favored the thousands of jobs that the shovel-ready Keystone would have thrown off—not to mention the many not-so-stupid voters who’ve noticed Mr. Obama’s antijobs politics. The White House immediately put out a statement claiming that “The President welcomes today’s news” and even that “we support the company’s interest in proceeding with this project.”
In other words, Mr. Obama is simultaneously opposing and supporting the Keystone XL. The only problem is that he hasn’t had a change of heart on the important part. The new side-project will help alleviate some of the bottlenecks around Cushing, but it doesn’t do anything to get oil from Canada to the U.S., which is the main point of the pipeline.
The White House has also been encouraging TransCanada to reapply before the November election for a new permit from State that it may never receive if Mr. Obama wins the election, in another bid to have it both ways. Perhaps TransCanada should call Mr. Obama’s bluff. Split the Keystone into two sections, each running a mile or so up to the 49th parallel, and then let State decide on the short interconnection. It isn’t any crazier than the status quo.
Senate Republicans want to add an amendment to the highway bill that would mandate construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
GOP lawmakers backing the controlversial oil pipeline plan to file an amendment mandating the project to the Senate transportation package Monday. It is unclear whether the Keystone measure—one of scores of proposed additions to the highway package—will come up for a vote.
The Senate last week began debate on the big transportation programs funding bill.
The move underlines the GOP’s determination to promote the pipeline and attack the Obama administration for rejecting a permit for developer TransCanada Corp. in January. Republicans in both chambers along with the GOP candidates for president have consistently bashed President Obama for his decision to reject the pipeline, which they argue will cost the country jobs.
Keystone XL would bring oil from Alberta’s massive tar sands projects to Gulf Coast refineries. It’s also envisioned to carry oil from the Bakken formation in North Dakota and Montana, where production is booming.
Pipeline backers – including most Republicans, some Democrats, major business groups and several unions – call the project a way to create jobs and boost energy security.
Cross-Posted: TobyToons.com (Conservative Political Cartoons)
Delivering the Weekly Republican Address on the eve of the State of the Union, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) says President Obama’s policies have made the economy worse and Republicans are offering better solutions, including a Plan for America’s Job Creators. Rep. Hensarling cites this week’s decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline extension, which would have created more than 20,000 jobs, as an example of how the president’s policies are hurting rather than helping. The lawmaker notes that the pipeline extension would run through his congressional district in Texas.
Chairman Hensarling: “The State of the Union is a time for truth-telling, and the sad truth is that the president’s policies are making our economy worse.”
“Hello, I’m Congressman Jeb Hensarling of Texas, and I serve as chairman of the House Republican Conference.
“Three years ago this week, President Obama celebrated his inauguration. As he prepares for his State of the Union address, it’s worth reviewing the previous messages he’s delivered to a nation eager to create jobs. In 2009, we were told that if we passed his ‘stimulus’ plan, the economy would improve. In 2010, we were told that if we passed his government takeover of health care, the economy would improve. Last year, we were told that his budget would help us ‘win the future.’
“Those were the promises, here are the facts.
“Since President Obama took office, 1.9 million fewer Americans have jobs. Gas prices have doubled. More Americans are on food stamps than ever before. The new health care law is making it harder for small businesses to hire and provide health insurance. Our national debt now exceeds the size of our entire economy. And as the president takes to the podium to address the nation, we will be marking 1,000 days since the Democrat-controlled Senate has even bothered to pass a budget.
“Regardless of the president’s good intentions, his policies have failed the American people. His policies haven’t just failed to make the economy better – they have actually made it worse.
“Just this week, the president wasted a golden opportunity to help create at least 20,000 new American jobs when he rejected a popular energy project. The Keystone pipeline extension would run from Canada to Texas, right through my congressional district. As you may know, this project has undergone extensive environmental reviews, and is backed by a diverse coalition, from unions and small businesses to lawmakers in both parties. In fact, the president’s own jobs council recently stated that projects like this one can create hundreds of thousands of jobs. Despite all of this, the president rejected the project and buried 20,000 shovel ready jobs.
“We can’t afford to go on like this, and we don’t have to.
“Republicans will continue fighting to bring these Keystone jobs to the United States. And we will also continue to listen to the American people and present better solutions that support small business job creation. By implementing Republicans’ Plan for America’s Job Creators, the House has sent nearly 30 bipartisan jobs bills to the Democrat-controlled Senate. One of those bills includes the full-year extension of the payroll tax credit that the president asked us to pass. Unfortunately, our jobs bills remain stuck in the Democrat Senate, and President Obama hasn’t urged the Democrat majority leader, Senator Harry Reid, to act.
“This has to change. Our jobs bills are focused on common-sense priorities like boosting competitiveness for manufacturers, reducing red tape for small businesses, and producing more American energy. These are also ideas supported by the president’s jobs council.
“The State of the Union is a time for truth-telling, and the sad truth is that the president’s policies are making our economy worse. It’s a new year, it’s a time for new, bipartisan solutions to our jobs crisis. We remain hopeful the president will change course and work with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to help get people back to work.
“You can learn more about the Republican jobs plan, and watch the Republican response to the State of the Union, at GOP.gov/SOTU/.
“Thank you for listening, and God bless the United States of America.”
Yesterday in Walt Disney World, the land “where dreams come true,” President Barack Obama appeared before Cinderella’s Castle to announce his latest plan to boost jobs in America–an effort to increase tourism to the United States. His announcement came one day after he flat out said “NO” to another plan that would have directly created at least 20,000 truly shovel-ready jobs–and 179,000 American jobs by 2035–while bringing more than 700,000 barrels of oil to the United States each day. That plan was the Keystone XL pipeline.
Had the President approved Keystone, a 1,700-mile pipeline would have been extended from Alberta, Canada, to Texas refineries — lifting up the U.S. economy with private-sector investment, putting people to work, and helping increase the supply of energy to lower prices when fuel costs are through the roof. Despite a finding by the State Department that the pipeline would pose minimal environmental risk, environmentalists were still up in arms and lobbied the President to say no to the plan.
The President’s decision is so out of line with fact and reason that The Washington Post strongly condemned it in an op-ed yesterday, saying the “pipeline rejection is hard to accept” and “We almost hope this was a political call because, on the substance, there should be no question.” As the Post explained, even without the pipeline, Canada will still export its oil–but across the ocean to China, instead. Meanwhile, the United States will continue importing crude oil from the Middle East. In other words, the environmental lobby might have stanched the flow of oil from Canada, but it’s being diverted onto the seas, and fossil fuel consumption will necessarily continue.
The environmental left’s “victory” is ultimately another loss for the American people — especially the 13.1 million unemployed workers. It’s a loss for small businesses, such as restaurants and hotels, in the towns along the proposed route. It’s a loss for state budgets that would have seen billions in tax revenue as a result. And it’s also a loss for those who are struggling with high energy costs.
Gas prices are at a record high for January and are 28.5 cents per gallon higher than a year ago. And that’s expected to go even higher–some analysts predict that the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded could hit $4 to $4.25 per gallon by the spring.
One might think that given the high cost of energy, the President would be seeking to increase domestic production, especially given Iran’s threats to block the Strait of Hormuz, thereby cutting off a quarter of the world’s energy supply. Think again. Under President Obama, oil and natural gas production on federal lands is down by more than 40 percent compared to 10 years ago, 2010 had the lowest number of leases issued for oil and gas production on federal lands since 1984, and the Administration held only one offshore lease sale in 2011.
There is one bright spot in the nation for energy production: North Dakota. Overall energy production has increased thanks to the state’s pro-energy policies, and North Dakota has reaped the benefits, as have other like-minded states, as Heritage’s Rob Bluey reports:
North Dakota’s unemployment rate is 3.4 percent, the lowest in the country. According to a recent report from IHS Global Insight, North Dakota already returned to pre-recession employment along with energy-rich Alaska. Texas is expected to do so in the first quarter of 2012, followed by Nebraska and South Dakota next year.
There’s much more that could be done, though, to move America further toward safely developing energy resources here at home–and the Keystone XL pipeline would be one such step. The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing to review legislation that would restart the project, focusing on a bill introduced by Representative Lee Terry (R-NE), which would allow construction on the pipeline to begin a month after passage. Heritage’s Nicolas Loris explains that “a simple, effective approach would be for Congress to authorize the pipeline application as submitted by TransCanada pursuant to its authority to regulate commerce with other nations.”
Sadly, this action wouldn’t have been necessary if President Obama put the interests of the American people before his own political interests. He could have green-lighted the Keystone XL pipeline this week and helped create real jobs and increase the supply of affordable, reliable energy, without spending public dollars or advocating tax hikes. But instead he headed for the Magic Kingdom and continued to spin the fantasy that he has the answers for job creation in America. In the meantime, Americans can only dream of a stronger economy and a brighter future.
Talkline Host Hoppy Kercheval
Welcome to the modern presidency, where perception trumps reality and policy is consistently subjugated by politics.
Consider two glaring examples in the Obama presidency.
One of the President’s creations is the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, a bi-partisan mix of business and labor leaders who are charged with finding ways to get the country’s economy moving again.
“Our job is to do everything we can to ensure that businesses can take root and folks can find good jobs and America is leading the global competition that will determine our success in the 21st century,” the President said.
Sometimes, after the photo ops, these commissions just fade away, but this one apparently took its job seriously. It met, did studies and issued reports.
Its most recent report says, among other things, the United States must continue to have access to “inexpensive and reliable fuel.” Therefore, the country is going to have to “optimize all of its natural resources and construction pathways (pipelines, transmission and distribution) to deliver electricity and fuel.”
Meanwhile, TransCanada Corporation has been pushing to build a 1,700 mile pipeline that would transport oil from Canadian shale deposits to U.S. refineries.
No, the council did not explicitly endorse the Keystone pipeline, but it’s implied. Yet the President Tuesday rejected the project, blaming Congressional Republicans for forcing him to make a decision before he was ready.
Obama parsed his comments carefully, saying what he was really rejecting was the Republican attempt to impose an arbitrary deadline. That’s enough to produce sixties flashbacks: “We had to destroy the village in order to save it.”
Pulling the plug on the pipeline thrilled the green movement, a pillar of Obama’s political base, because it wants to rush the country away from carbon-based fuels regardless of the economic consequences. At best, Keystone is a pyrrhic victory, since the oil will now go to Asia, enlarging its carbon footprint as it travels.
Even the Washington Post editorial page criticized the President, saying he should be called out by his own Jobs Council.
In 2010, the President created the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. The President charged the commission with developing “policies to improve the fiscal situation in the medium term and to achieve fiscal sustainability over the long run.”
The panel, headed by Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, did just that. It produced a series of tough, but fair recommendations for getting the nation’s exploding debt under control.
The President received the report and promptly placed it somewhere it will gather dust and hopefully—for him, at least—be forgotten. The debt is now over $15 trillion dollars, up nearly 50 percent since President Bush left office.
The President has made no attempt to implement any of the recommendations of his own commission on the debt. Yes, these would have been tough decisions, but we elect people on the presumption that they will lead.
So, what’s the point of, amid significant fanfare, appointing really smart people to come up with good ideas?
Well, it looks good at the moment, and it may fool some voters into thinking you’re actually doing something that will help the country with two pressing issues—the economy and the debt.
The follow-up, however, reveals disturbing indicators about the direction of the country under President Obama.
Editorial Pages, Democrats And Unions Are Calling Obama’s Keystone Move ‘A Major Setback For The American Economy,’ Say It ‘Will Cost The U.S. Good Jobs’
EDITORIALS: ‘Obama Made A Decision That Will Cost The U.S. Good Jobs’
THE WASHINGTON POST: “Mr. Obama’s Jobs Council could start by calling out… the Obama administration” (Editorial, “Obama’s Keystone Pipeline Rejection Is Hard To Accept,” The Washington Post, 1/19/12)
· “…on the substance, there should be no question… clearly, constructing the pipeline would still result in job gains during a sluggish economic recovery.” (Editorial, “Obama’s Keystone Pipeline Rejection Is Hard To Accept,” The Washington Post, 1/19/12)
· “Environmentalists should fight for policies that might actually do substantial good instead of tilting against Keystone XL, and President Obama should have the courage to say so.” (Editorial, “Obama’s Keystone Pipeline Rejection Is Hard To Accept,” The Washington Post, 1/19/12)
USA TODAY: “The Obama administration’s kick-the-can decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline… leaves a confusing muddle that exemplifies the continuing fecklessness of U.S. energy policy.” (Editorial, “Editorial: Obama’s Pipeline Decision Delays Energy Security,” USA Today, 1/19/12)
· “The biggest loser in this game of political football is the national interest.” (Editorial, “Editorial: Obama’s Pipeline Decision Delays Energy Security,” USA Today, 1/19/12)
THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE: “The problem is, Keystone should be approved. This is a good project. It will give us energy and give us jobs. You want stimulus? This is a $7 billion deal to be done with private-sector funding.” (Editorial, “Pipeline Politics: Misguided Obama Blocks Keystone Pipeline,” The Chicago Tribune, 1/19/12)
· “Obama made a decision that will cost the U.S. good jobs. He seems to think those jobs will still be there when he gets around to making a decision on the pipeline. But they may well be gone for good.” (Editorial, “Pipeline Politics: Misguided Obama Blocks Keystone Pipeline,” The Chicago Tribune, 1/19/12)
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: “Such green delusions are sad, and Mr. Obama’s pandering is sadder, though everything the country stands to lose is saddest.” (Editorial, “The Anti-Jobs President,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/19/12)
DEMS: ‘Very Disappointed,’ ‘Strongly Disagree’
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): “President Obama’s decision on the Keystone XL pipeline is a major setback for the American economy, American workers and America’s energy independence.” (Sen. Manchin, Statement on Administration’s Decision to Halt Keystone XL Pipeline, 1/18/12)
· “I truly believe any issues surrounding the pipeline could have been resolved if we had chosen to work together, but instead, the Administration has taken a different path… I respectfully urge the President to reconsider this decision.” (Sen. Manchin, Statement On Administration’s Decision To Halt Keystone XL Pipeline, 1/18/12)
SEN. JON TESTER (D-MT): “I am disappointed in the president’s decision. … I will continue to champion Montana’s role in securing America’s energy future…” (“Keystone Decision Hands GOP Ammo,” Roll Call, 1/19/12)
SEN. MARK BEGICH (D-AK): “disappointing and frustrating” “Begich — Democrat from Alaska — calls Obama’s rejection of Keystone ‘disappointing and frustrating’” (Sen. Begich Statement, Manu Raju Twitter, 1/18/12)
SEN. MARK PRYOR (D-AR): “I strongly disagree with President Obama’s decision to postpone the Keystone pipeline project, which will sustain and create jobs.” (Sen. Pryor Statement, Twitter, 1/18/12)
SEN. MAX BAUCUS (D-MT): “There is absolutely no reason we cannot start putting Montanans to work on the Keystone XL pipeline right away…” (“Keystone Decision Hands GOP Ammo,” Roll Call, 1/19/12)
· “An aide to powerful Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montana said the senator would continue fighting ‘to get this project off the ground.’” (“Moderate Dems Question Keystone Decision,” Politico, 1/18/12)
REP. GENE GREEN (D-TX): “I am very disappointed in the President’s decision today.” (Rep. Gene Green, Press Release, 1/18/12)
REP. JASON ALTMIRE (D-PA): “… a missed opportunity to drastically turn this economy around.” (Rep. Altmire, Press Release, 1/18/12)
UNIONS: ‘Completely And Totally Disappointed’
LABORERS’ INTERNATIONAL UNION OF NORTH AMERICA: “Politics at its worst.” (Laborers’ International Union Of North America, Press Release, 1/18/12)
· “The score is Job-Killers, two; American workers, zero. We are completely and totally disappointed… Blue collar construction workers across the U.S. will not forget this.” (Laborers’ International Union Of North America, Press Release, 1/18/12)
MARK AYERS, AFL-CIO: “… disappointed by an Administration unwilling to take its own words to heart and approve this vital project.” (Mark Ayers, Press Release, 1/18/12)
· “With a national unemployment rate in construction at 16% nationally, it is beyond disappointing that President Obama placed a higher priority on politics rather than our nation’s number one challenge: jobs.” (Mark Ayers, Press Release, 1/18/12)
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner says President Barack Obama is breaking his promise to create jobs by rejecting a plan to build an oil pipeline from Canada to Texas.
Boehner says Republicans will keep fighting for the Keystone XL pipeline because the project is good for the U.S. economy because it would create thousands of jobs.
The president says he’s turning down the project not because it isn’t worthy, but because of what he calls an arbitrary Feb. 21 deadline he was given by Congress to make a decision. The deadline was set by a GOP-written provision as part of a tax bill that Obama signed into law just before Christmas.
Even President Obama’s Supporters Are Upset by the Keystone XL Decision
- The Wall Street Journal editorial page criticizes the Administration’s decision to delay the pipeline, saying he has voted “present” on an issue that could create up to 20,000 new jobs.
- Would deliver 830,000 barrels of heavy crude oil a day from Alberta to refineries in Oklahoma and Texas.
- A recent study concludes the Keystone XL Pipeline will lead to:
- More than $20 billion in new spending for the U.S. economy
- More than 118,000 person-years of employment
An increase of $6.5 billion in the personal income of Americans
- Increased gross output (product) of $9.6 billion
- More than $585 million in state and local taxes in the states along the pipeline route
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BREAKING NEWS: PRESIDENT OBAMA’S KEYSTONE XL DENIAL “UNCONSCIONABLE,” IER’S THOMAS PYLE SAYS.
WASHINGTON DC — Upon news today that President Obama would formally reject the Keystone XL pipeline permit, IER President Thomas Pyle released the following statement:
“Tens of thousands of American jobs died today because of the president’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline permit. For more than two years, the administration has delayed, hoping to get past 2012 without having to reveal the president’s true anti-job, anti-energy agenda. Because of today’s announcement, Americans will continue to send $70 million overseas every day to purchase foreign oil.
Today, the president has clearly said that the creation of tens of thousands of American jobs and a stronger relationship with our closest trade partner was not in the national interest. Out-of-work Americans are surely asking themselves what nation’s interest the president is considering? It certainly isn’t America’s — not our energy security and not our economy.
Moreover, it is an insult to the American people that he president has to hide behind Secretary Hillary Clinton to kill Keystone XL. Rather than coming out and saying what we already know — that he has chosen to side with environmental radicals and the EPA against job creators and hardworking, taxpaying men and women — he’s blaming his failure on the inability to finish a State Department review within the statutory timeframe. That timeframe, by the way, was approved by a Democrat-controlled Senate.
The president’s actions today are unconscionable. It is raw political hubris at its very worst. Every time the President has wanted something, he’s been more than willing to fast track it. He fast tracked Obamacare. He fast-tracked his trillion dollar stimulus. He fast tracked cap-and-trade. He’s fast tracked EPA regulations and Solyndra loans. But today, he claims he doesn’t have the time to do a thorough job.
It’s time for this president to stop worrying about his own job, and start worrying about millions of Americans who haven’t had a job since he took office.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NPRA Says Rejection of Keystone XL Pipeline Threatens American National Security and Jobs
WASHINGTON – National Petrochemical & Refiners Association President Charles T. Drevna today issued the following statement after the announcement that the Obama administration has rejected a construction permit for the Keystone XL pipeline:
“President Obama has given in to political pressure from extremist opponents of fossil fuels and turned his back on American consumers who need fuel, American workers who need jobs, and America’s economic and national security. It is incredibly unwise of President Obama to reject a steady, secure and reliable supply of oil from our close friend and neighbor Canada at a time when Iran is threatening to choke off a significant portion of global oil supplies.
“Rejecting a construction permit for the critically important Keystone XL pipeline may be good politics to appeal to fringe protest groups, but it is bad policy for the American people. The Keystone XL pipeline proposal has been studied exhaustively for more than three years and has been shown beyond any doubt to be safe and in America’s vital national interest. The United States already relies on a network of more than 168,000 miles of liquid pipelines to safely and efficiently transport oil to serve the American people, and the Keystone XL pipeline would be a valuable addition to this network.
“We hope that if TransCanada reapplies for another construction permit for the pipeline the new permit will be approved promptly, because this pipeline is in America’s national interest.”
An NPRA compilation of myths and facts about the proposed Keystone XL pipeline can be found here.
NOTE: NPRA is changing its name Jan. 25 to the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers. More information here.
– NPRA –
NPRA is a trade association representing high-tech American manufacturers of virtually the entire U.S. supply of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, other fuels and home heating oil, as well as the petrochemicals used as building blocks for thousands of vital products in daily life. NPRA members make modern life possible and keep America moving and growing as they meet the needs of our nation and local communities, strengthen economic and national security, and provide jobs directly and indirectly for more than 2 million Americans.
‘The President is saying “no” to the Keystone XL pipeline, he’s saying “no” to a project that will bring more than 700,000 barrels of oil a day from our friend and ally, Canada, and he’s virtually assuring continued reliance on the Middle East… It’s hard to imagine a project that is more in the national interest and the interest of the American people.’
Full transcript of Senator Hoeven’s Address:
“Earlier this year, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a study identifying 351 energy projects that are stalled nationwide because of over-regulation and a bureaucratic permitting process.
“According to the Chamber, those delays are costing the American economy $1.1 trillion in lost economic impact. More importantly, they’re costing us nearly two million jobs every year.
“Yet with nearly 14 million Americans still out of work, and unemployment at over 8 percent for nearly three years, the President continues to believe that higher taxes and more government regulation is the right approach.
“I’m Senator John Hoeven from North Dakota, and I want to talk to you about the Keystone XL pipeline, a case in point that illustrates just what I mean.
“This new $7 billion, 1,700-mile, high-tech transcontinental pipeline, the largest shovel-ready project in the country, would reduce our dependence on Middle East oil, help keep down the cost of energy for American consumers and businesses, and create thousands of jobs for American workers at a time when our nation so greatly needs them.
“Before I came to the U.S. Senate, I was governor of North Dakota for a decade.
“Back home, we grew our economy, raised incomes, and kept unemployment below 4 percent—the lowest rate in the country. Today, it’s still the lowest rate in the nation.
“We created thousands of jobs for North Dakotans—good sustainable employment that provides meaningful work and a paycheck to support families.
“We didn’t do it with temporary stimulus measures, but by empowering the private sector—by building the kind of legal, tax and regulatory climate that encourages private investment and spurs economic growth.
“So why is the President and his Administration doing just the opposite? Why is he taking a course of action that puts bureaucratic barriers in the way of economic growth and jobs? Let’s frame that question in terms that matter to every American.
“A week ago, newspapers across the country ran a story warning consumers that gasoline could rise to more than $4.00 a gallon this year.
“In the same week, we saw world markets react nervously to the standoff between the U.S. and Iran in the Strait of Hormuz—through which one-third of the world’s seaborne oil is now shipped.
“Combine all of this with growing global demand for oil, especially in China, and we have a recipe for dramatically higher energy prices and more personal hardship for working Americans.
“What will consumers say when gasoline returns to $4.00 a gallon?
“What will they say when the cost of services and consumer goods rise because the cost of energy is driving up prices?
“Yet the President is saying ‘no’ to the Keystone XL pipeline, he’s saying ‘no’ to a project that will bring more than 700,000 barrels of oil a day from our friend and ally, Canada, and he’s virtually assuring continued reliance on the Middle East. That makes no sense, and it’s a matter of great concern for our national security, particularly with what’s going on in Iran.
“Last month the U.S. Senate passed a payroll tax cut measure that includes an important provision that I, along with Senator Richard Lugar, introduced to clear the way for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
“This pipeline will carry oil not only from Alberta, Canada, but also 100,000 barrels a day from the U.S. Bakken region in Montana and my home state of North Dakota.
“Our legislation accomplishes three crucial things. First, it makes sure the decision to permit the project can be reached within 60 days, it addresses routing concerns by the state of Nebraska, and then it ensures that the pipeline permit includes strong and specific environmental protections.
“It’s hard to imagine a project that is more in the national interest and the interest of the American people.
“Yet our bill had not even passed when the U.S. State Department said it would not allow ‘sufficient time’ to evaluate the project.
“Nothing could be further from the truth. Let’s be clear. Our bill requires a decision by the President on whether the project is in the national interest within 60 days, but it puts no time limit whatsoever on the Administration’s ability to review and set the pipeline’s route through Nebraska, which was the only area of contention left.
“In fact, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told me in a July letter that the department expected to announce its decision by the ‘end of the year,’ and accordingly, in August, the State Department issued the results of its final environmental review.
“The point is this: If the Keystone XL pipeline isn’t built, Canadian oil will still be produced and transported—700,000 barrels a day of it—but instead of coming to our refineries in the United States, instead of creating jobs for our people, instead of reducing our dependence on Middle Eastern oil and keeping down the cost of fuel for American consumers—that oil will be sent to China.
“A number of year-end stories recently made much of the fact that the Keystone XL pipeline project isn’t on the President’s agenda before next year’s election, which is unfortunate, because it is private-sector projects like Keystone XL—and the hundreds of others cited by the U.S. Chamber study—that will get our nation working again.
“I have worked towards approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, first as governor of North Dakota, and now with my colleagues as a U.S. Senator, because it is just the kind of project that will grow our economy and create more jobs.
“And that’s the larger point here. We must empower private investment and create sustainable jobs through private enterprise to lift up our country.
“The President and his Administration need to join us in creating the kind of legal, tax, and regulatory environment that empowers private investment. That’s the approach that will grow our economy and get people back to work. That’s the approach that will reduce our deficit and debt, and strengthen our nation.
“That’s the approach that will ensure a brighter future for our children.
“Thank you and God bless.”