State Department Finds Keystone Pipeline will Have Limited Environmental Impacts; Upton Presses White House to Make Final Decision to Create Jobs

August 26, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) released the following statement after the U.S. State Department issued its final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, an extension of an existing pipeline that - when completed - would carry 1.4 million barrels of crude oil from Canada and North Dakota to U.S. refineries and would create more than 100,000 jobs. The EIS found that the pipeline will have limited adverse environmental impacts during construction and operation.

"This affirmation of the pipeline's safety puts us one step closer to construction, but the American people are still waiting on the president for action. The State Department has said it plans to make a final decision on whether to grant or deny a Presidential Permit before the end of the year, but nearly three years of delay have left a cloud of uncertainty around a project that will bring so many immediate jobs and so much secure energy to our country. 

"This pipeline project is about increasing our energy security and putting America back to work. Completion of the Keystone XL Pipeline extension will bring over 1.4 million barrels of oil per day into U.S. markets and create more than 100,000 American jobs. This is a win-win for the American economy. But unless we take immediate action we risk losing this valuable oil supply to energy-hungry countries like China. With increased turmoil in the Middle East and unemployment still hovering above 9 percent, we cannot afford any more delays. The administration has drawn out this process for long enough. The House passed the North American-Made Energy Security Act with a strong bipartisan vote of 279 to 147 to force the White House to make a final decision by November 1."

NOTE: The Canadian pipeline company Enbridge recently announced plans for a long-term contract for its Northern Gateway project. China has officially lent its commercial support to the proposed pipeline intended to facilitate the export of Canadian crude to Asian markets. This news underscores the need for swift U.S. action on the Keystone XL pipeline. If we don't build it, this means China will receive valuable oil from our ally while we continue to rely on imports from risky foreign regimes.