Bob Goodlatte: Time to build the Keystone pipeline

bob-goodlatte-afp2You’ve probably heard the old phrase, “good things come to those who wait.” Well, the American people have been waiting over six years for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. I’d say that’s long enough, wouldn’t you?

The proposed project would carry more than 800,000 barrels of oil from Canada to refineries in the United States each day, helping to reduce our dependence on oil from the Middle East and Venezuela. Construction of Keystone XL is estimated to create tens of thousands of jobs and give the United States access to affordable, North American energy.  This project would also help fuel an economic recovery many Americans have yet to see – something that would be welcome in communities feeling the impact of lost jobs and higher costs for everyday goods.

With Congress back in session, the House of Representatives kicked things off this week by considering legislation to approve the long-awaited Keystone XL pipeline. H.R. 5682 passed the House by a strong vote of 252 to 161. Unfortunately, this is not the first time the House has acted on legislation to unlock North American energy sources and make the Keystone XL pipeline a reality. Despite the support of a majority of Americans, the White House continues to block construction. Even though this bill passed the House with bipartisan support and the Senate is expected to take up similar legislation in the coming days, the President has said that his position on Keystone has not changed, and White House officials have indicated that he would likely veto this bill.

It is mind boggling that for over six years this approval process has dragged on with nothing but delays, excuses, and inaction. How much longer will American jobs and energy security have to wait? This project has been fully vetted and found to be environmentally sound, plus it has the potential to be a significant boost to our economy. It’s difficult to argue that a project like Keystone XL is not in the best interest of our country. Instead of obstructionism, the Keystone XL pipeline is a prime opportunity for the White House to actually work with Congress.

There are numerous issues that Congress must address before the end of the year and many opportunities for both parties to work together. Keystone XL is a good starting point. The American people have been waiting for this common sense energy solution. It’s time for Congress and the White House to listen and work together on behalf of the American people.

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