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Congressman Gene Green

Representing the 29th District of Texas

On Supporting S.1 the Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act

February 11, 2015
Speech

 

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act. I rise in support of this bill because I support North American energy development.

The pipeline has been in development and waiting for approval for six years. Unfortunately, because of this backlog, there are now 11 other cross-border projects that have not moved. Some of these projects are as simple as a name change.

The Presidential Permitting Process has become nothing more than a political game. Opponents of domestic infrastructure projects use the process to delay projects endlessly in an attempt to raise money under the guise of environmental protection.

The State Department has studied this project 4 different times. Each time, The Department reported back that the environmental and climate impacts would be negligible. However, opponents of the project do not like that answer so they continue their attack until the project is deferred.

Opponents of the project now decry that because oil prices are low, more studies should be conducted. Opponents cite low oil prices as a reason the federal government shouldn’t approve the project. Last time I checked, the federal government wasn’t involved in private business decisions.

If oil prices remain low, the market will dictate which projects remain viable and which do not. The federal government has one job to do and should complete its work in a timely fashion. 

Further, opponents claim that Keystone XL will only result in 35 permanent jobs. What they fail to address is that Keystone XL, along with the majority of other cross-border facilities, will create thousands of construction jobs. Those who oppose the project say, those are only temporary jobs.

Well, to my friends who oppose the project, construction jobs by their very nature are temporary jobs. But I can tell you this, the pipefitter or laborer that works on their segment of the pipeline is darn happy to have that job.

That is another paycheck to help support his or her family. That is another paycheck to help support the community.

I continue to urge support for the Keystone XL pipeline. 

Let’s pass this bill, approve this project and move on to the issues that are waiting for our attention.

I yield back.