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John B.
Republican AR

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  • Keystone XL Pipeline Act—Motion to Proceed

    by Senator John Boozman

    Posted on 2015-01-13

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    BOOZMAN. It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to talk about the Keystone Pipeline. I also wish to thank the Senator from North Dakota for his tireless efforts and his leadership on behalf of getting the Keystone Pipeline project moving.

    For the past 6 years I have urged the administration to approve the project. I voted for legislation to speed up the pipeline construction. This pipeline makes sense for job creation and the future of our Nation's energy supply.

    In a recent email survey sent to more than 30,000 Arkansans, I asked what issues the new majority in the Senate should focus on in the 114th Congress. Participants told me that one of their top priorities is an ``all of the above'' energy policy that addresses current and future energy needs.

    The Senate has an opportunity to pass legislation that is a commonsense plan to improve our Nation's energy supply by approving the Keystone XL Pipeline. Tapping into these Canadian oil sands will offer us a reliable source of energy from one of our strongest allies and trading partners. This is good news as we work to reduce our dependence on oil from regions of the world that are hostile toward our country, and it is good news for Arkansas. Here is why.

    Approval of this infrastructure project will mean jobs. This is one reason it has the support of both parties. Organized labor has been very vocal in support of the pipeline. Unions understand that this infrastructure project will create well-paying jobs for skilled laborers, and it will do so at no expense to the taxpayers. And it is not just unions; certainly businesses are supportive of the pipeline too, as well as an overwhelming majority of Americans.

    Last month, as the Senator from North Dakota alluded to, I toured the Welspun Tubular Company, the Little Rock-based company hired to produce hundreds of miles of pipeline for the project. Company officers estimate that 150 jobs will be created just to load the pipe onto the railcars for shipment when the project finally gets the green light.

    The economic impact has wide reach to Arkansans. Blytheville's Nucor Corporation was slated to make some of [[Page S164]] the steel for the pipeline, and there is a trickle-down impact throughout the State.

    A central Arkansas Caterpillar employee wrote to me about the importance of this project to his job because of its impact on his livelihood. ``The Keystone pipeline project would be a huge boost to us,'' he wrote.

    Once built, the infrastructure will provide a safe and reliable supply of energy. Currently, this oil is transported from Canada to refiners by rail and truck. A new, modern pipeline poses less risk to the environment than these current modes of transportation. The project will help maintain lower fuel prices, which is good for all Americans.

    At every hurdle, using science and common sense, this project gets the green light. Last week Nebraska's Supreme Court upheld the State's law approving a route for the pipeline through the State.

    Time and again this project passes the test, but the President has threatened to veto the bill. This isn't surprising considering the administration spent more than 6 years analyzing this and punting a decision down the road until further studies have been conducted. The pipeline is being studied literally to death. It is ready to go. Yet the President is still looking for ways to stop it.

    The American people deserve this affordable energy. They deserve well-paying jobs. Both can be accomplished by building the Keystone Pipeline.

    Again, I thank the Senator from North Dakota for his tireless efforts in the past 6 years trying to get this project off the ground. The good news is I think we have made real progress.

    I yield the floor.

    The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from North Dakota.

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