Sens. Vitter, Lugar & Hoeven Introduce Keystone XL Pipeline Legislation

Copyright © 2011 Vanguard of Freedom

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Sens. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) John Hoeven (D-N.D.) and David Vitter (R-La.) are introducing their legislation to require the Secretary of State to grant a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline within 60 days.

“We’re fighting to keep the Keystone XL pipeline project on a realistic timeline for completion,” Vitter said. “This project would create approximately 20,000 new jobs, $7 billion in new investment and provide 700,000 new barrels of oil a day – oil we wouldn’t need from the Middle East. Everyone in Washington talks about saving the economy and creating jobs – this would actually do something about that.”

Earlier this year, Vitter introduced 3-D: The Domestic Jobs, Domestic Energy, and Deficit Reduction Act of 2011, S. 706, which has a provision that would expedite permitting and decision making on the Keystone XL pipeline. The bill would also create more than two million jobs, $10 trillion in economic activity and $2 trillion in federal tax receipts (according to conservative 30-year estimates) by unleashing America’s vast domestic energy potential.

Additionally, Vitter introduced an amendment last month to the “China Currency” bill that would have again expedited permitting of the Keystone XL pipeline, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) blocked the Vitter amendment from consideration. Vitter also has an amendment currently pending to the Energy and Water Appropriations bill that would expedite Keystone XL.

A summary of the legislation introduced today follows:

The North American Energy Security Act

Jobs will be created right away and billions of dollars in investment will be unleashed through legislation introduced to permit the $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline, the largest infrastructure project ready in the United States, to commence construction.

Passage of the legislation offered by Senators Dick Lugar (R-IN), John Hoeven (R-ND), David Vitter (R-LA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Mike Johanns (R-NE), will:

* Create Jobs. Create 20,000 direct jobs in building the pipeline and manufacturing.

* Strengthen National Security. Reduce need for foreign oil from volatile regions by increasing secure trade with Canada and encouraging production in the U.S. Bakken area.

* Promote economic growth. Boost more than 1,400 U.S. companies that directly sell their products and services for oil sands production and transport.

The $7 billion pipeline cost to be paid by the Keystone XL consortium will fund nearly half a billion dollars in salaries and purchase $6.5 billion worth of materials, services, and other local economic activity.

Over time, strengthening U.S.-Canada oil sands energy cooperation can create hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs. Trade with Canada will accelerate America’s independence from overseas oil and will maximize benefits to complement increased U.S. domestic oil production, usage of more alternative fuels, and vehicle innovation to save fuel and dollars at the gas pump.

Lugar-Hoeven-Vitter KXL legislation

• Establishes Congressional affirmation that Keystone XL is good for job creation, economic growth, and national security.

• Requires the Secretary of State to issue a permit within 60 days to allow the Keystone XL project to move ahead, unless the President publicly determines that it is not in the national interest.

• Requires the permit for Keystone XL to contain strong and specific environmental protections and protect states’ rights.

• Requires them Federal permit to recognize an alternative route approved by Nebraska, protecting their ability to shift the route of the pipeline to avoid the Sand Hills while not holding up construction elsewhere.

• Concludes more than three years of Federal review by deeming the Final Environmental Impact Statement to be adequate.

Keystone XL Background

The proposed 1,700 mile Keystone XL pipeline would transport 700,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada and the U.S. Bakken region to U.S. refineries. Canada’s oil sands are among the largest oil reserves in the world. As global demand for oil surges and Canada increases production, the addition of the Keystone XL pipeline will ensure that Americans benefit from reliable and secure oil from our largest trading partner.

Despite having spent a record three years reviewing the Keystone XL permit, including two comprehensive environmental evaluations, the Obama Administration recently deferred a decision on the permit until after the 2012 election. The Lugar-Hoeven-Vitter KXL bill will spur job creation quickly – not wait until after the election – and reduce America’s dependence on oil from volatile regions.

Vanguard of Freedom Network / Patriot Action Network / Liberty News Network