Senators Hatch, Lee, and others announce bill to approve Keystone XL pipeline

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Orrin Hatch, Mike Lee, and 42 fellow senators announced they would introduce legislation that would approve the Keystone XL pipeline Monday

The Keystone XL pipeline is proposed to extend from Canada to the Gulf Coast, transporting an additional 830,000 barrels of oil per day to U.S. refineries. Supporters of the project have said it will create up to 20,000 American jobs.

On Jan. 18, President Barack Obama announced he was blocking the pipeline. He stated his reason for doing so was not the pipeline itself, but the rushed manner in which Congress wanted it approved. The rush did not allow ample time to study the pipeline’s potential environmental impact, he said.

“As the State Department made clear last month, the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment,” the president said. “As a result, the Secretary of State has recommended that the application be denied.  And after reviewing the State Department’s report, I agree.”

The cancellation of the pipeline did not please Utah’s senators.

“The White House’s decision to reject the Keystone pipeline project was another failure in leadership from one of the most anti-American-energy Administrations in our nation’s history,” Sen. Hatch said.

Sen. Lee also voiced his disapproval.

“There is absolutely no rational justification for standing in the way of profitable enterprise that would create American jobs, American wealth, and greater American energy security.” Lee said. “President Obama is kowtowing to the most extreme elements of the environmentalist movement by blocking the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, and he has the audacity to do so while calling Congress ‘obstructionist.’”

In response to cancellation of the pipeline’s construction Hatch, Lee, and 42 additional senators announced legislation that would approve the Keystone XL pipeline project under Congress’s authority enumerated in the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8.

The legislation authorizes TransCanada to construct and operate the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to Houston, Tex. The bill builds off the completed Environmental Impact Statement, which was finished by the State Department on Aug. 26, 2011.

Additionally, the bill requires the U.S. State Department to enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) within 30 days with the state of Nebraska to assist in rerouting in that state, which will be subject to the Nebraska governor’s agreement on the route within the state. However, it allows Nebraska all the time it needs to identify a new route within the state to strengthen the completed Environmental Impact Statement.

According to a joint-statement issued by Hatch, Lee and other supporting senators, the Keystone XL pipeline project has been under review for more than three years, yet the president rejected it, saying the 60-day provision included in the payroll tax cut extension bill passed in December didn’t give him enough time to review the project.

The statement adds that the Obama Administration spent 1,217 days reviewing the pipeline and there was no time limit on the State Department’s ability to review the Nebraska portion of the project. The legislation requires strong environmental and safety requirements by incorporating the environmental and safety standards required and finalized by the Secretary of State. At the same time, the bill protects state and local laws relating to the protection of private property rights by ensuring those laws are not changed in this process.

“This common-sense legislation would overturn the White House’s inexplicable decision and allow this critical, job-creating project to move forward,” Hatch said.

Lee called the proposed bill a “step in the right direction.”

In addition to Hatch and Lee, other original cosponsors of the bill are Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), David Vitter (R-La.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), John Thune (R-S.D.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), John Boozman (R-Ark.) Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Ala.), John Kyle (R-Ariz.); Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Patrick Toomey (R-Penn.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), John Risch (R-Idaho), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).

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Copyright 2012 St. George News. This material may not be published or rewritten without written consent.

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  • Patricia Stidham-Burns January 30, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    The Republicans repeatedly LIE about the number of jobs the pipeline will create. They will NOT be local jobs. They are temporary except in Texas at the refineries. And we DO NOT keep the oil! It WILL leak. It WILL destroy our environment. CLIMATE CHANGE IS PROVEN SCIENCE! The Republicans know this they are lying to you again to protect their oil and corporate buddies! It’s a perfect terrorist target. So all you Republican constituents please KNOW your leaders are LYING to you!

  • Derrick January 31, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Orrin Hatch lied in Spanish Fork about his 17 votes to increase the debt limit.

    These votes equate to 7.6 trillion dollars. Hatch said MOST of them took place during the Reagan years when in fact only 1.2 trillion took place during Reagan. 6.4 trillion he voted to raise well after Reagan was fighting the Soviets. Hatch LIED.
    I believe America should be able to exact it’s energy resources. Exacting oil isn’t going to affect climate change much. Nobody even knows the optimal temp. of the earth. Nobody knows if it’s even advantageous to try and curb what’s already taken place with regards to the composition of gases in the atmosphere

  • Catherine Lavallee January 31, 2012 at 11:35 am


    The Democrats repeatedly LIE about the number of jobs the pipeline will create. They WILL be local jobs. They might be temporary but so what? ALL building projects ARE TEMPORARY!!!! Should we never build things? We WILL add MORE oil to the global market so who cares if we keep it or not? More oil on the market means more supply which means lower prices. That is economics 101.

    There is no proof that it will leak and climate change is NOT proven to be man made by a long shot. The only thing proven is that the climate has always changed and it will always change.

    Corporations employ people, silly! You want nobody to work in America?

    Terrorist target? Please. SMDH

    You are lying. The Democrats are lying to you.

  • Rick Wening March 24, 2012 at 6:35 am

    The jobs of the future are going to be from getting an education to be able to use oil in the most efficient way possible and suppliment it with whatever other sourses of energy we can find. It’s not either or. I’m all for pulling as much oil as possible out of the ground. But with oil comes not only the problems of incomplete burning but all the wars that come with it too. Many leave that fact out of the arguement. Oil is going to whatever price is set at the world market. Period! If you don’t want to complain about the prices think about what you drive. I’m not saying go out and buy the latest hybrid when you can. But think about that Dodge Ram 2500 4×4 or Ford 3500 you might be driving and if you really considered the expense of driving it in the first place or how much you really needed it.. We all have choices.

  • ron March 24, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    I don’t know whether proponents of the pipeline are lying or just in denial. When scientists who specialize in climatology all agree that climate change is real and that we are part of the problem, what sense does it make for those with no background in climatology or science to say those scientists are wrong. Before we start drilling everywhere we can drill and building pipelines everywhere we can build them, we should start conserving. If you’re driving a gas-guzzler, you have no right to cry over high fuel prices. My neighbor just traded his [email protected]#, gas-guzzling pickup for a Jeep that gets 30 mpg, has 4-wheel drive, and will get him just about anywhere he wants to go. Moving in that direction would be a good start in the fight against high gas prices.

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