After 1,754 Days, It’s #TimeToBuild the Rest of the Keystone XL Pipeline
While the president continues to delay construction of the northern route of the Keystone XL pipeline, the southern half of the project, known as the Gulf Coast pipeline, is nearing completion. United Press International reports nearly 80 percent of the 450-mile pipeline has been completed so far this year. Compare this progress to the nearly five years that have passed since TransCanada first submitted its application to build the full Keystone XL project with the U.S. State Department.
In March of 2012, President Obama traveled to Cushing, Oklahoma, to endorse construction of the southern leg of the pipeline, calling for action to cut red tape and make the project a priority. Standing at a podium in front of a stack of pipes, the president proclaimed, “I don’t want the energy jobs of tomorrow going to other countries. I want them here in the United States of America. And that’s what an all-of-the-above strategy is all about.” But this fraction of the pipeline did not need presidential approval, and the president still has yet to sign off on the northern leg of the project, which will create jobs and allow Canada’s rich oil supply to flow to U.S markets.
The American people have now been waiting over 1,750 days for a decision to allow the landmark project to move forward. The needless delays continue despite the over 15,500 pages of State Department review that confirm the project will have no significant impact on the environment and show Keystone will be the safest pipeline in U.S. history.
President Obama’s Cushing speech was just 474 days ago. Since then, almost 80 percent of the southern leg has been completed. The Gulf Coast pipeline could have been built three times over in the time the president has kept us waiting for a decision on the Presidential Permit. In May, the U.S. House approved the bipartisan Northern Route Approval Act, H.R. 3, authored by Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), to end the regulatory delays blocking construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and finally allow the job-creating project to proceed.
The $7 billion private-sector infrastructure project has broad support, including dozens of newspapers editorial boards and organizations representing American workers and job creators. The completion of the southern portion of the Keystone XL pipeline is an important milestone, but with thousands of jobs and energy security on the line, it’s time to build the rest.
To read the full UPI article online click here.