Today National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Ross Eisenberg testified before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources hearing on the Northern Route Approval Act, H.R. 3. This legislation is sponsored by Rep. Lee Terry which would bring to a close the unnecessarily long and protracted regulatory process for the Keystone XL pipeline, allowing the project to move forward.
The Keystone XL pipeline is a clear job creator and a clear example of Washington hold manufacturing back. Keystone XL has been studied more than any other pipeline according to Eisenberg with the Final EIS concluding the project would have no significant impact and be safer than other domestic pipelines. From Eisenberg’s testimony:
“It bears repeating that Keystone XL has been studied for five years. The average NEPA environmental impact statement (EIS) only takes 3.4. The final EIS produced by the State Department in 2011 was an 8,000-page behemoth spanning eight volumes. It analyzed greenhouse gas emissions, environmental justice, geology and soils, water resources, wetlands, terrestrial vegetation, wildlife, fishery resources, threatened and endangered species, cultural resources, air quality and noise, land use, recreation and visual resources, socioeconomics, cumulative impacts and environmental impacts in Canada. Each area received a thorough, exhaustive analysis; for instance, the sage grouse received 100 pages by itself. The three-year EIS process included numerous public meetings, hundreds of thousands of public and agency comments and publication of a Draft EIS, a Supplemental Draft EIS and the 8,000-page Final EIS. The Final EIS concluded that the project would have no significant impact and would actually be safer than any other typically constructed domestic oil pipeline system.”
Subcommittee member Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA) has been a supporter of the project and he said that the project will be part of ourenergy future and that “the due diligence is done.” Costa added, “I’ve supported various efforts, but I wish we’d develop a more rational way of making decisions.”
Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) said the project has already provided a boost to his district in Oklahoma. He has been frustrated by the red tape that has delayed the project saying that Washington is “the busiest town that gets absolutely nothing done.”
The Keystone XL pipeline has been studied every way possible for the past five years and all the results keep coming back to the same conclusion, that the project will create jobs and have no significant impact on the environment. We need Washington to get out of the way. The NAM supports H.R. 3 to approve Keystone XL and we continue to urge President Obama to approve the pipeline as soon as possible.
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