Want Jobs? Approve Keystone

Today, the House of Representatives will consider the Northern Route Approval Act (H.R.3), sponsored by Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE). The Obama administration has been holding up a decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline for an extended period of time, and it is about time the fundamentally sound pipeline should be part of American’s energy equation.  It should be approved.

Yet, according to the White House budget office, the president has already threatened to veto the bill simply “because H.R. 3 seeks to circumvent and proven processes for determining whether cross-border pipelines are in the national interest by removing the Presidential Permitting requirement for they Keystone XL pipeline project.”  In other words, the president is more concerned with maintaining control than in truly doing what is in the national best interest.

As Heritage’s Nick Loris has noted, Rep. Terry’s bill “does what The Heritage Foundation has been saying since the project turned from a decision about a pipeline to a political football. Since the State Department’s first environmental review concluded the Keystone XL pipeline would have no significant environmental impact, it would be a good idea for Congress to authorize the pipeline application submitted by TransCanada pursuant to its authority to regulate commerce with other nations.”

Furthermore, it isn’t as if this issue is only being trumpeted by House and Senate Republicans.  Previous House bills have passed with the support of 69 Democrats.  In March, during the Senate Budget Resolution vote-a-rama, a non-binding budget amendment vote approved the project’s construction by a 62-37 margin that included 15 Democrats.

As Energy & Commerce Vice Chairman, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) noted in an op-ed today, “The pipeline, if fully constructed, would be able to carry nearly a million barrels of oil per day, bringing supplies from the oil sands region of Alberta, Canada, as well as U.S. crude from the Bakken oil fields being developed in North Dakota and Montana.”

In addition, the legislation ensures that the environmental review has satisfied all requirements for the Endangered Species Act, which radical environmentalists have used as a tool to block many levels of basic economic and energy development activity.

The administration has stalled Keystone XL’s construction and have prevented a huge boost to the American energy supply as well as long-term job creation. The legislation before the House would allow this important energy development project to move forward without problematic hurdles from energy obstructionists.

Heritage Action strongly supports the “Northern Route Approval Act” and encourages all members of Congress to vote in favor of the legislation.

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