Earlier today, Americans for Tax Reform sent the following letter to the Hill.

14 February 2012

Dear Senator:

On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and millions of taxpayers nationwide, I urge you to support Sen. Hoeven’s (R-N.D.) Keystone XL Pipeline Amendment No. 1537 to the Senate Highway Bill, S. 1813. Looking to mirror a similar provision included in the House’s iteration of the Highway Bill, Sen. Hoeven and several other Republican Senators have proposed Amendment 1537 which would use constitutionally granted Congressional authority to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Given the Obama Administration’s repeated attempts to block construction of the pipeline—and the thousands of jobs, increased energy security, and economic activity tethered to the project—Congress must seize the reins and approve the Keystone Pipeline. Putting his reelection ahead of the American people, the President’s inhibitive policies necessitate a Congressional remedy. Amendment 1537 is that remedy.

What was once a non-partisan, vanilla construction project, the Keystone Pipeline has unfairly turned into a divisive issue during this election year. Ascribing inaccurate and irrelevant attributes to the Keystone Pipeline, its opponents have actively distorted the true nature of the pipeline. The pipeline would safely and immediately create 20,000 construction jobs, bolster America’s struggling refining industry, strengthen America’s energy security by importing hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil every day, and likely displace some of the heavy crude oil America imports from countries like Venezuela.

Studied and reviewed for nearly three years, the Keystone Pipeline has been thoroughly vetted by numerous federal agencies and successfully made its way through the federal rigmarole. Amendment 1537 correctly uses the State Department’s August 26, 2011 completed Environmental Impact Statement as justification to finally begin construction of the Keystone Pipeline. Appreciating Nebraska’s pipeline sensitivities, Amendment 1537 affords Nebraska as much time as the state needs to find an alternative route for the pipeline. The legislation also requires the Secretary of State to assist Nebraska once a new route has been found.

Facing persistently high unemployment and a stagnant economy, Congress must take matters into its own hands and ensure that the Keystone Pipeline is immediately built. It is for these reasons that I urge you to jumpstart our economy and support Amendment 1537 to the Senate Highway Bill.


Grover G. Norquist