House Action on the Keystone XL Pipeline
The Keystone XL pipeline has become a symbol of the president’s failed energy policies. By continuing to delay this project, the president is putting thousands of American jobs at risk and jeopardizing our access to Canada’s valuable oil supply. If the U.S. doesn’t move quickly to get Keystone XL built, we risk losing access to this important North American energy resource to other energy-hungry nations like China.
To overcome the president’s obstruction, the House has now voted a total of six times to allow for construction of the pipeline, which is estimated to create over 20,000 direct jobs and carry nearly a million additional barrels per day of secure Canadian oil supplies to U.S. refineries.
House votes on Keystone XL:
July 26, 2011 – House approved H.R 1938, the North American-Made Energy Security Act. The bill authored by Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) was approved by a strong bipartisan vote of 279-147. This bipartisan legislation was designed to expedite the president’s decision on required permits for construction of the Keystone pipeline expansion, requiring the president to issue a Presidential Permit decision no later than November 1, 2011.
December 13, 2011 – House approves Middle Class Tax Relief and job Creation Act with provision requiring the president to approve the presidential permit within 60 days unless the president determines the project is not in the national interest.
December 23, 2011 – Both the House and Senate unanimously approve – and President Obama signs into law – a bill requiring approval of the Keystone XL pipeline within 60 days unless the president determines the project does not serve the national interest.
February 16, 2012 – Following President Obama’s rejection of the Presidential Permit, the House approves H.R. 3408, the PIONEERS Act, with language from Rep. Terry’s bill, H.R. 3548, the North American Energy Access Act. The plan would create a path forward for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline by removing the president’s authority over the project and giving it to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. It instructs FERC to approve the pipeline within 30 days if the permit remains in compliance with the State Department’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), which concluded building the pipeline was the “preferred” option. The legislation also gives FERC 30 days to approve the Nebraska re-route once the environmental review is complete and the state’s governor has approved it
April 18, 2012 – House approves H.R. 4348, the Surface Transportation Extension Act, which included language authored by Rep. Terry taking the pipeline out of the president’s hands and requiring the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to approve the permit within 30 days. The bill passed with veto-proof support by a vote of 293-127.
May 18, 2012 – House passes a Motion to Instruct Conferees on H.R. 4348 to insist on Title II of the House bill regarding approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline. The motion passed with a bipartisan vote of 261-152.
On July 23, 2012, Rep. Terry introduced additional legislation that will remove the president’s authority over the pipeline and allow this shovel-ready project to move forward. H.R. 6164 calls for the approval of construction and operation of the northern portion of the pipeline from the Canadian border to the South Dakota/Nebraska border. The bill will allow work to immediately commence on the northern segment while still protecting the ongoing review of the interstate portion in Nebraska.