A pipeline intended to transport oil from Canada through the middle of the United States must first run through Washington. That’s the unfortunate reality that is holding up construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
The pipeline will create jobs–thousands of them–and add billions to the economy, yet it continues to get tangled in red tape. Optimism that the Administration would approve the pipeline by the end of this year has turned to frustration after President Obama announced a decision would wait until 2013.
This project has waited long enough. When TransCanada (the company building the pipeline) filed for its permit, it expected a wait of about 23 months. Now, it’s looking at a delay that could exceed 50 months.
That’s one of the points that will be made by TransCanada at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on the pipeline today. Other witnesses include representatives from organized labor, which also backs the project. You can watch the hearing here.
And earlier this year the House passed legislation that would force the President to make a decision by November 1. It’s too late for that obviously, but Congress continues to press on. A bill in the Senate would require a decision in 60 days–there’s more on that legislation in a post below.
The upside of this project is enormous–jobs, energy security, billions contributed to the U.S. economy. So why wait?