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Westerman, Graves, McMorris Rodgers Oppose Halting Keystone XL Pipeline Construction


WASHINGTON, D.C.,
January 19, 2021

Today, House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and House Committee on Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) issued the following statements in response to President-elect Joe Biden’s announcement that he will halt construction on the Keystone XL pipeline:

“The Keystone XL pipeline will be an essential part of American infrastructure, providing safe and reliable energy from one of our strongest allies,” Westerman said. “If President-elect Joe Biden halts construction as one of his first acts in office, he will not only be hampering our energy independence, but he will also be putting thousands of well-paying American jobs at risk in the middle of a pandemic. Pipelines are one of the safest, cheapest ways to transport our natural resources, and stopping their progress would deliver a gut-punch to the economy without instituting any real environmental change.”

 “Revoking the permit for this critical infrastructure project would be a massive mistake,” Graves said.“Pipelines provide the safest, most efficient, most environmentally friendly means of transporting energy. Pulling the plug on this project won’t eliminate the need to transport energy resources between Canada and the United States. Killing Keystone XL will only serve to roll back the progress made toward North American energy independence and eliminate many good jobs. At this pivotal time for our recovery, I strongly caution the new administration against rolling back good projects that help spur the economy.

“President Joe Biden’s expected decision to revoke the Keystone XL pipeline permit will hamper America’s economic recovery and energy security,” McMorris Rodgers said. “As we recover from the health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 shutdowns, there couldn’t be a worse time to double-down on Obama-era and Green New Deal policies like this. Is this the beginning of another painfully long recession, where the American people are asking ‘where are the jobs?’ Let’s hope not because more than 10 million Americans are out of work. To win the future and ensure a stronger American comeback, House Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee will continue to lead and build on our bipartisan work for projects like Keystone XL for an all-the-above energy strategy to remove regulatory barriers to innovation, create jobs, keep energy costs low, and protect our national security.

Background

The Keystone XL pipeline is a 2,000 mile pipeline designed to transfer Canadian crude oil into U.S. markets. It will be the first pipeline of its kind to be net-zero emissions from the day it begins operating. Seventeen pump stations are currently under construction, all materials have been procured and roughly 100 miles of it were completed in 2020. An estimated 2,000 Americans are already employed by the project, and Native American communities have become equity partners in the pipeline. 

However, Biden has announced that he will cancel the pipeline’s permits on his first day in office. This puts thousands of American jobs at risk, including many in renewable energy fields, and would cause Native American communities to lose hundreds of millions of dollars. 

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