Crossroads GPS Urges Senate to Support Immediate Construction of Keystone XL Pipeline

Crossroads GPS is urging all senators to support American jobs by voting “yes” on the Hoeven Amendment (#1537), which would expedite the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, and to vote “no” on the Wyden Amendment (#1817), which could delay and even kill the pipeline project altogether, when each is considered by the U.S. Senate later today.


The Hoeven Amendment supports American jobs by expediting the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline so that construction can begin immediately, subject to the environmental report completed by the State Department, and with all other environmental standards and protections remaining in place.  (A special environmental study would occur in Nebraska before construction could commence there.)  Senators supporting new energy production, high-quality jobs, and American industry should vote “yes” on Sen. Hoeven’s amendment (#1537).


Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline have crafted an amendment to be offered by Sen. Wyden as a “cover vote” for those senators who oppose the pipeline’s construction but want to pretend otherwise.  The Wyden Amendment would insert yet more statutory delays, place impossible-to-implement, politically-driven burdens on the use of the petroleum flowing through the pipeline, and put new restrictions on the pipeline construction contracting process that may make the project cost-prohibitive.  The Wyden Amendment, in other words, is designed to thwart the Keystone XL project, not expedite its construction.  Senators should vote “no” on Sen. Wyden amendment (#1817).


The 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline will bring more than 700,000 barrels of oil from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast every day.  Some analysts estimate that as many as 20,000 direct jobs and 118,000 spin-off jobs will be generated by the approval of this project, and others note that the unemployment rates in some of the relevant trades are as high as 20-25 percent.   Environmental questions have been asked and answered by the State Department, which concluded that the project would be far safer than domestic pipelines.


It is also important to remember that the Obama-led foot-dragging on Keystone XL flies in the face of its bipartisan and diverse support, especially from labor organizations.  For example, Mark Ayers of the AFL-CIO has said that “it is America’s workers who are clamoring for the expedited approval of this important project.”  And James Hoffa of the International Brotherhood of the Teamsters has argued that Keystone XL offers “working men and women a real chance to earn a good wage and support their families.”