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Capitol Report: Time to Build

Jan 09, 2015

One of the first bills the new Congress took up this week was the Keystone XL Pipeline. This infrastructure project is a pipeline to move oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. The project will add more than 40,000 jobs to the workforce and lower energy costs for all Americans. There is strong bipartisan support; however, President Obama has threatened to veto the project when it comes across his desk. The president is sending a clear message to America – he does not want to work with Congress or for you. He would rather join with extremist environmental groups and push his own agenda rather than yours. It is unfair to you, and it is totally irresponsible.

These environmental groups say that this pipeline is dangerous to the environment, but that is just not true. The fact is, the State Department has thoroughly investigated this project and, after five reviews totaling more than 22,000 pages, they had no major environmental objections. They also found that the pipeline would not increase carbon emissions, despite popular opinion among the environmentalists. In fact, the pipeline project would voluntarily incorporate more than 50 new safety standards recommended by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

According to the Department of Energy, 830,000 barrels of oil is estimated to be able to move through the pipeline per day, which is about half of the total amount of oil the U.S. imports from the Middle East. Building the Keystone XL Pipeline will keep energy prices low and dependence on foreign oil down. With lower prices, Missourians will be able to spend more of their hard earned money in the ways they see fit, rather than on energy costs.

A veto from President Obama is a veto of more money in your pocket, more jobs for our country, and a lessened dependence on foreign oil. The Keystone XL Pipeline will provide 42,000 shovel-ready jobs – an estimate from the president’s own State Department – and $2 billion in earnings across the U.S. It would be foolish to veto a project with so much to offer the country.

The American people voted for a change in the direction of the country this past November, and Congress heard you. The Republican-led House and Senate are working every day on solutions to get folks back to work and put an end to the political gridlock in Washington. The Keystone XL Pipeline is a bipartisan jumpstart for job creation and putting the country back in the right direction. It is time for President Obama to set aside his agenda and join the effort to do what is best for our country.