Upton: Pipeline Will Create Jobs and Dramatically Improve our Energy Security
The text of Chairman Upton's remarks in support of H.R. 1938 , the North American-Made Energy Security Act, follows below:
Today, national unemployment rests at 9.2 percent. But it's even higher in my state of Michigan, at 10.5 percent. Gasoline costs $3.80 a gallon or more in many areas - up a dollar from last year. Political unrest halfway around the world disrupts the flow of oil to markets, causing prices to rise. Most leaders in this situation would be searching for a project that would create jobs, help bring down gas prices, and provide a stable and secure source of oil to replace imports from dangerous parts of the world. Our president is being handed such a project on a silver platter. And he's dangerously close to letting it slip through his fingers.
Our northern ally Canada has discovered an oil resource comparable in size to Saudi Arabia, and they want to send the oil here to the United States. Five major labor unions have thrown their support behind the pipeline because it is going to create more than 100,000 jobs. Yet this administration has allowed the permit application to languish for nearly three years, even saying that they were "inclined" to support it almost a year ago in October.
This pipeline, Keystone XL, if approved, would dramatically improve our energy security. According to the Department of Energy, the pipeline would "essentially eliminate" our Middle East oil imports. It would provide a massive influx of stable oil into the market - something desperately needed as threatened supplies in North Africa send prices into orbit.
This country needs the president to make a decision on the Keystone XL's permit. The uncertainty has gone on too long, and if we don't act, these energy supplies WILL go some place else. This is why we have this legislation, H.R. 1938. This bipartisan bill doesn't tell the president how to decide, it just requires him to make a decision. I commend Representatives Terry and Ross for finding a commonsense, and yes, bipartisan solution.
If we don't build this pipeline, Canada will find another buyer. The Chinese have expressed significant interest in Alberta's oil sands. Are we going to stand by and watch China receive imports from our ally while we are forced to rely on imports from unstable countries? I sure hope not.
While I believe construction of this pipeline is necessary and important, I know it has to be done safely. Last year, 20,000 barrels of oil did spill into a creek that runs through my district. I have made pipeline safety a priority in our committee; just this week we are moving forward on effective pipeline safety legislation to protect the environment and our communities. This legislation will ensure that crucial energy supplies, like the oil we receive from Canada, is transported safely throughout the country.
We need a yes vote on this bipartisan bill.