The Nebraska State Legislature passed LB 1161 this afternoon on a 44-5 vote that brings TransCanada closer to finding a new route for the Keystone XL pipeline in Nebraska. This is positive news as it means TransCanada is that much closer to applying for another Presidential Permit to build the pipeline across our border with Canada. Approval of the pipeline means jobs and access to an affordable source of energy.
Gov. Heineman is expected to sign the legislation which will allow TransCanada to work with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to find a suitable route for the Keystone XL pipeline. The legislation also gives the governor 30 days to review the route and indicate whether or not they approve of the routes reviewed by DEQ
We cannot forget this project could have been well underway if the President had signed the permit last fall. This is the prime construction season and as many as 20,000 people would be working or gearing up to work on the project. The ripple effect through the economy, not only in the Midwest but throughout the country, would have been substantial – creating 118,000 jobs.
It’s unfortunate that the creation of these jobs will have to wait because the President put politics before policy and jobs. This only hurts our nation’s job creators who are struggling with high gas prices.
We need a common sense “all of the above” energy policy that provides us with greater stability and access to energy from domestic and friendly sources. A true “all of the above” strategy includes the Keystone XL pipeline and expanded domestic exploration and drilling. Manufacturers can’t afford to wait. This time around we hope the President approves Keystone XL as soon as possible.
Chip Yost is vice president of energy and resources policy, National Association of Manufacturers.