Keystone XL Update: Congress Keeps Up the Fight for Jobs and Energy Security

February 3, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - House Republicans continued to beat the drum this week with messages of jobs and energy security, reminding President Obama that the battle for the Keystone XL pipeline is far from over. The New York Times reports, "On the airwaves, on the campaign trail and in both chambers of Congress, Republicans are relentlessly pushing for an expansion of the pipeline known as Keystone XL and criticizing Mr. Obama's decision to reject the project for now, forgoing thousands of pipeline jobs."

A group of House Republicans gathered on the House floor this week to assure the American people that they will continue to fight until the Keystone XL pipeline is approved. After the president rejected the permit for the pipeline, House Republicans are moving forward with a solution to build the pipeline that will create tens of thousands American jobs and bring nearly a million barrels of secure oil supplies to U.S. refineries each day.

Despite the president's repeated attempts to block the job-creating project, Congress is not backing down. Congress has already acted twice to stop the president's construction obstruction, and Republican leaders are determined to do whatever it takes to make sure the pipeline is built. Since politics prevented the president from saying yes to the project, House Republicans are now advancing a solution to take White House politics out of the equation. The North American Energy Access Act will remove the president's authority over the pipeline and allow construction to begin almost immediately.

Energy and Commerce Committee member Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO) pointed to the overwhelming public support for the Keystone project, referencing a recent poll showing 64 percent of Americans -Republicans and Democrats alike -support construction of the pipeline.

"People across this country want the Keystone XL pipeline to be built," said Gardner. "They know this project will create opportunity - opportunity that hasn't existed for far too long.  For over 36 months now we have seen the unemployment rate in this nation exceed eight percent. It's unacceptable, and the fact that this administration has decided to punt on jobs is shameful." Watch Gardner's remarks here.

Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX), also a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, talked about the pipeline in terms of energy security and national security. Olson described how access to more North American energy from the pipeline will diminish Middle East threats to our oil supply and help stabilize gas prices.

"We all know the numbers. 20,000 shovel-ready jobs right now. 830,000 barrels of oil flowing each day down to Southeast Texas ports. Energy Security. National Security," said Olson. "The American people should know that House Republicans have not yet began to fight for the Keystone XL pipeline." Watch Olson's remarks here.

###