Keystone XL by the numbersPublished 10:17pm Friday, August 9, 2013
By Congressman Randy Forbes
We are in a global energy race. The United States regularly competes with growing economies like China for available energy resources around the world.
As we enter an era of energy innovation, our nation’s ability to become energy independent will not only impact our position as a global leader, it will also directly impact job creation, manufacturing, and energy affordability for American families.
The Keystone XL pipeline holds the potential for both great energy security and economic benefit for our nation. The pipeline is a $7 billion private-sector infrastructure project that will bring thousands of jobs and greater energy security to America.
However, this landmark jobs and energy project has been tied up in regulatory review for more than four years. Although it has received broad bipartisan support from Republicans and Democrats and the labor and business communities alike, the president has continued to delay and dodge a final decision on the pipeline.
Consider the following Keystone XL pipeline numbers released by the House Energy and Commerce Committee:
830,000: The number of barrels of oil the Department of Energy estimates the Keystone XL pipeline would be able to move per day. This represents about half the amount of U.S. imports from the Middle East.
20,000: The number of jobs TransCanada estimates will be directly created by the pipeline’s construction.
$7 billion: The amount TransCanada estimates it will invest in the United States to build the pipeline.
1,776: The number of days that have passed since TransCanada first submitted an application to the U.S. State Department to build the Keystone XL pipeline.
15,500: The number of pages the State Department has issued in its NEPA review of the project during the past four-and-a-half years.
62: The number of senators who voted in favor of a budget amendment to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, including 17 Democrats.
279: The number of bipartisan votes the North American-Made Energy Security Act received in the House last Congress to help expedite the construction of the pipeline.
Despite the energy security and economic potential, the administration continues to kick the can on the project as other nations move ahead in the energy race.
Canada will continue to produce its rich oil sands, regardless of the pipeline’s approval. Just last month, TransCanada announced plans to move forward with a proposal to build a $12 billion pipeline to the east, potentially allowing Canada’s oil to be shipped to China or India.
Now, it’s time to build the Keystone XL pipeline.
I have supported legislation like the Northern Route Approval Act, which removes any need for presidential approval of the pipeline, effectively ending the drawn-out process of delay-by-review and allowing us to start building the pipeline.
Additionally, I’ve cosponsored the Keystone For a Secure Tomorrow Act, which would allow Congress to directly and immediately approve the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.
We have a choice. We can choose higher energy prices and stagnation, or we can run full speed ahead in the race to an energy renaissance, fueling America by opening the Keystone XL pipeline and breaking dependency on foreign oil. It’s in our nation’s interest.
To read more about my work on energy issues, including legislation I have introduced to encourage innovation in new sources of energy, visit www.forbes.house.gov.
Congressman J. Randy Forbes represents Virginia’s Fourth District, which includes Suffolk, in the U.S. House of Representatives. Visit his website at forbes.house.gov.