Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Actby Representative Gene Green
Posted on 2015-02-11
GREEN of Texas. I want to thank our ranking member for
allowing me to have 2 minutes to talk about how I support the Keystone
pipeline. We have a little diversity on our side.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of S. 1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act.
I represent a refinery and chemical plant community in Houston, east Harris County, Texas. We have five refineries in my area alone, which would use that Keystone crude oil. In fact, Congressman Weber has the eastern leg of it, and I have the western leg that actually stops in our district. We have two, big, old, huge tanks in Channelview, Texas, which are ready to get that oil and distribute it to our refineries. We have refineries, literally, from Corpus Christi over to Pascagoula in the Gulf of Mexico, on the gulf coast, that could use that crude oil. They are already using heavier crude from other parts of the world.
It has taken 6 years to get this permit for the pipeline's development. This is the longest study of any cross-border pipeline that I have ever seen. Unfortunately, because of the backlog, we have 11 other cross-border projects that have not moved through the process. Some of these are just a simple name change, and that is the problem. The Presidential permitting process has broken down. That is why Congress needs to act. The State Department has studied the project four different times. Each time, they have come back and have said that the environmental and climate impacts would be negligible.
Let me talk about the jobs issue.
We will have a year of high-paid pipefitters, teamsters, laborers, electrical workers--you name it. Those are great jobs, and they are high paying for a year. Construction jobs are temporary. Then they will go on to another job, and, frankly, in Texas, we have no shortage of need for pipelines even though I have never not lived on a pipeline easement in Houston, Texas.
The bill is not as perfect as I would like, but we need to send this bill to the President--it got out of the Senate--and give the President a chance to do it. We need cross-border pipelines whether it is Canada to the United States, Texas to Mexico, or the United States to Mexico, or back.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act. I represent a refinery/chemical plants. The refineries on the Gulf Coast will use the crude oil.
I rise in support of this bill because I support North American energy development.
The pipeline has been in development and waiting for approval for six years. This is the longest study of any cross-border pipeline that I have ever seen.
Unfortunately, because of this backlog, there are now 11 other cross- border projects that have not moved through the process.
Some of these projects are as simple as a name change.
The Presidential Permitting Process has become nothing more than a political game.
Opponents of domestic infrastructure projects use the process to delay projects endlessly in an attempt to raise money under the guise of environmental protection.
The State Department has studied this project four different times.
Each time, the Department reported back that the environmental and climate impacts would be negligible.
However, opponents of the project do not like that answer so they continue their attack until the project is deferred.
Opponents of the project now decry that because oil prices are low, more studies should be conducted.
Opponents cite low oil prices as a reason the federal government shouldn't approve the project.
Last time I checked, the federal government wasn't involved in private business decisions.
If oil prices remain low, the market will dictate which projects remain viable and which do not.
The federal government has one job to do and should complete its work in a timely fashion.
Further, opponents claim that Keystone XL will only result in 35 permanent jobs.
What they fail to address is that Keystone XL, along with the majority of other cross-border facilities, will create thousands of construction jobs.
Those who oppose the project say, those are only temporary jobs.
Well, to my friends who oppose the project, construction jobs by their very nature are temporary jobs.
But I can tell you this, the pipefitters, operating engineers, electrical and Teamster laborers that work on their segment of the pipeline are darn happy to have that job.
That is a large paycheck to help support his or her family.
I continue to urge support for the Keystone XL pipeline.