While many families were traveling during New Jersey’s spring break, President Obama and his Administration quietly declared yet another delay in the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline project.
The Administration’s decision is irresponsible, unnecessary and unacceptable — but not surprising. As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee I have seen first-hand the Obama Administration orchestrate more than five years of repeated and unnecessary delays in moving forward with the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. And while our Committee has worked in a bipartisan capacity to successfully pass legislation in Congress to build the Keystone XL pipeline, the President and his allies in the U.S. Senate have refused to act.
The benefits of building the Keystone XL project are plentiful. Recent studies from the President’s own U.S. State Department outline many of the benefits that would come with the project, including more than 42,000 direct and indirect jobs including 3,900 construction jobs, and an estimated $3.4 billion boost to the economy. And despite two thorough environmental analyses showing that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would have a negligible impact on the environment, President Obama’s Administration continues to try and appease those in opposition.
The Obama Administration’s decision also has diplomatic ramifications with our friend and ally to the north — Canada. The Washington Post newspaper rightfully pointed out recently that the decision to delay approval of the Keystone project “…insults and antagonizes a strong ally; getting future Canadian cooperation on other issues will be harder.” And the decision, “threatens a large source of relatively secure oil that, combined with new discoveries in the United States, could reduce (though not eliminate) our dependence on insecure foreign oil.”
American-made energy production is one of the brightest spots in today’s less than stealer U.S. economy. As innovation leads to even greater domestic production, we must act to bring this increased American-made energy production to American consumers and businesses. With bipartisan support in Congress and the backing of labor and business alike, the Administration should see that the Keystone XL pipeline project is important to our national and economic security. Yet those in the Administration can’t find the courage to say “yes” on Keystone.
While the Obama Administration continues to block American energy production, I will continue to fight vigorously for the Keystone XL pipeline project so that we can strengthen our energy security and put more Americans back to work.
Congressman Leonard Lance