This morning the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on President Obama’s decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline last week. The witnesses at the hearing included officials from the Bureau of Oceans and International Environment and Scientific Affairs, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality.
During the hearing there was an attempt by several members of the Energy and Commerce Committee to politicize and further distract from the main issue at hand – jobs and energy security. It’s time for the politics to stop over Keystone XL and get down to how we move forward with this important project. President Obama and his Administration have already decided to play politics over sound policy and it will cost manufacturers jobs and lost competitiveness. We can no longer afford additional delays by playing partisan politics.
The project will put thousands of Americans back to work immediately and the benefit will be felt throughout the economy. The pipeline’s construction will create 20,000 manufacturing and construction jobs and 118,000 spin-off jobs.
The jobs numbers don’t tell the full story. Manufacturers are large consumers of energy, using one-third of our nation’s energy supply. Keystone XL will provide a key source of affordable energy for manufacturers. Manufacturers are already facing strong headwinds from rising energy prices and regulations which makes Keystone XL vitally important to manufacturers’ competitiveness against growing global competition. We can no longer afford to wait.