We Can't Wait: With U.S. at Risk of Losing Out on Canadian Oil Supplies, Republicans Prepare to Override Obama's Objection and Finally Advance Keystone XL Pipeline

April 13, 2012

By now it's well known that President Obama rejected the popular Keystone XL pipeline and personally lobbied members of the U.S. Senate against it. Not surprisingly, we're beginning to see the consequences. A report in today's Wall Street Journal outlines plans to expand the project for a new pipeline to carry oil from the vast Alberta oil sands westward, where it can be placed on tankers and shipped to Asian markets. While the U.S. has been the largest consumer of Canadian oil, the president's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline has forced our northern neighbor and ally to look for other customers. As a result, the U.S. may lose access to these stable, affordable energy supplies.

President Obama has used the slogan "we can't wait" to advance his own agenda, but when it comes to the Keystone XL pipeline - and the thousands of jobs and millions of barrels of secure energy it will deliver to U.S. markets - "wait" is exactly what he's telling the American people to do. But as today's report demonstrates, the Canadians aren't waiting. If the U.S. won't serve as a willing partner, they have eager customers elsewhere in the world who will gladly consume this vital resource.

That's why, very soon, House Republicans will once again move forward with legislation authored by Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) to take away the president's ability to block this important pipeline. In February, the House voted to ensure action will be taken on the Keystone XL pipeline - the measure was included as part of a broader energy development package linked to transportation and infrastructure legislation. As Congress now prepares to extend transportation programs and negotiate a longer-term package, the House will insist that the Keystone XL legislation be included as part of the package. Pipelines are an important part of our nation's energy infrastructure, and attaching a measure to speed approval of the Keystone XL pipeline project will achieve two key policy goals without cost to taxpayers: creating jobs and strengthening our energy security. In light of today's news out of Canada, the urgency is greater now than ever.

In Case You Missed It...

With a $5 Billion Pipeline Project, Canada Looks to Bypass U.S. for Asia
The Wall Street Journal
April 12, 2012
By Edward Welsch

CALGARY—Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP KMP +0.02% said Thursday it will begin a $5 billion expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline, nearly tripling the capacity of crude oil it can ship to Canada's west coast—the latest project aimed at moving the country's rising oil production to markets outside the U.S.

Currently, almost all Canadian crude exports travel to the U.S. While Canadian oil output has been climbing fast, pipeline capacity to move it from the country's biggest oil patch in landlocked Alberta to U.S. refining markets is stretched. …

Canadian oil executives have sought to open new markets for their crude, especially after the White House rejected the Keystone XL project. The pipeline became ensnared in a political battle in Washington, with environmental groups and many Democrats opposing the pipeline. Republicans embraced it as a way to bolster energy security and create jobs.

U.S. President Barack Obama has said he is open to reviewing Keystone XL again, if TransCanada reapplied for a permit. A decision wouldn't be made, though, before this year's presidential election. Late last month, the government of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said it would streamline regulatory reviews of big energy and mining projects meant to move resources to markets. Mr. Harper and other Canadian officials have said they want to open up new markets for Canada's resources in China and Asia, instead of relying on the U.S. as its biggest buyer.

To read the full article online, click here.

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