In the Weekly Republican Address, North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven discusses the Keystone XL pipeline and why it's "in the national interest and the interest of the American people."
Sen. Hoeven says, "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."
He points out, "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. . . . 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."
Sen. Hoeven continues, "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."
Concluding, Sen. Hoeven says, "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."