Committee Leaders Press President Obama to Explain Recent Comments on Keystone XL

July 31, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders today wrote to President Obama expressing concerns over “the continued delay and politicization of the approval process for the Keystone XL pipeline.” Recent comments made by the president concerning the pipeline’s review and its potential benefits have added to the uncertainty surrounding the landmark jobs project and its approval process, which has now surpassed 1776 days. Full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), and Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Lee Terry (R-NE), author of House-passed legislation to build Keystone XL, are asking for clarification of the president’s remarks and are requesting a meeting to discuss the Keystone XL project and the review process for other cross-border energy projects.

During his recent climate speech at Georgetown University, the president introduced a new condition to the pipeline’s approval, stating, “The net effects of the pipeline’s impact on our climate will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project is allowed to go forward.” In an even more recent interview published by the New York Times, the president’s comments contradicted the conclusions of his administration regarding the number of jobs that would be created by this project and its potential effect on gasoline prices.

Members are concerned the difficulties with getting Keystone XL approved may translate to the approval of future North American energy projects, writing, “We are concerned that your most recent statements have signaled an arbitrary and abrupt shift in how our nation approves cross-border energy projects. Your recent comments have only added to the immense amount of uncertainty that currently surrounds the Keystone XL approval process, unnecessarily jeopardizing $7 billion in private investment.”

To view a full copy of the letter, click HERE.

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