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Congressman Gus Bilirakis

Representing the 12th District of Florida

The Keystone Pipeline – 2100 Days of Delays

June 19, 2014
Bilirakis Blog

On Friday, April, 18, the Obama Administration elected to “indefinitely delay” a decision to approve or deny a permit to build the Keystone pipeline until at least after the 2014 elections, further withholding the prospect of more than 40,000 jobs and $2.1 billion in earnings. June 19th marks 2100 days of delays – 2100 days have gone by since the project was proposed.

I am disappointed that the approval of the Keystone pipeline has been delayed again. In the House, I voted in favor of approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, both on the Committee level and in the full House. The Obama Administration has delayed the approval for over five years. The US State Department recently issued a report which found that the disapproval of the Keystone XL pipeline “is unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands or the continued demand for heavy crude oil at refineries,” which refutes concerns about a negative environmental impact from the pipeline approval. Steven Chu, a former Energy Secretary in the Obama Administration from 2009 – 2013 has said previous delays are political in nature, and not based on science.

Cheaper energy prices mean lower bills at the gas pump and the grocery store. Americans are hurting, and the Keystone XL pipeline would make every one of their hard-earned dollars go further. Reducing gas prices, reducing the costs to heat or cool your home, and reducing the costs of feeding your family are good things. The Keystone XL pipeline is a step towards doing that.

The United States should import oil from Canada – a strong and trusted ally – rather than importing millions of barrels of oil a day from countries who oppose US interests. Embracing ties with allies through energy security also creates jobs and economic growth. The Keystone pipeline is truly a “shovel ready” project that, unlike the failed stimulus package, will have a positive economic impact. Unemployment is still unacceptably high, and the labor force participate rate is at its lowest since the Carter Administration.[1] The jobs created from the approval of the pipeline would be in areas of the country where few employment opportunities exist. The Keystone Pipeline has multiple benefits for all Americans.


[1]At the time of writing (https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300000)