Saturday, November 29, 2014

Billy Long: It's time to build the Keystone Pipeline

(From Seventh District Congressman Billy Long)

The application to build the Keystone XL pipeline was submitted to the U.S. Department of State over six years ago. The Keystone XL is a simple extension of the existing Keystone pipeline and represents a great opportunity to strengthen our domestic energy security and provide Americans with jobs.

On November 14, the House again passed legislation to build this infrastructure project by a vote of 252 to 161. Then the Harry Reid-led Senate rejected legislation to move forward on the pipeline by one vote on November 18.

There is strong bipartisan support in both the House and Senate to build this pipeline, but President Obama has repeatedly dragged his feet delaying construction of this state-of-the-art energy infrastructure project. The House and Senate will send legislation next year to President Obama and he will have to act. Time will tell if President Obama will veto this legislation and say no to the jobs and domestic energy security that would come with the construction of the Keystone XL.

The Keystone XL is an opportunity to lessen our dependence on oil from the Middle East. The U.S. Department of Energy indicated the pipeline would be able to move up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day. This is half the amount of oil our country imports from the Middle East.

Construction of the pipeline would also support 42,100 jobs, both direct and indirect, according to the U.S. Department of State's Environmental Impact Statement.

I remain steadfast in finding a solution to ensure the Keystone XL gets built so we can strengthen our domestic energy security while providing hard working Americans with good paying jobs.

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