It has been 1665 days since the original plan for the Keystone Pipeline was submitted to the US State Department. The plan has since been modified to address environmental concerns and as well as other issues that had been raised. Last month, the State Department released their Environmental Impact Statement saying Keystone presented zero environmental dangers. On Wednesday the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power held a hearing to extoll the economic and financial benefits that Keystone will bring to the US economy.

Ed Whitfield (R-KY) (Chair of the Energy and Technology Subcommittee):
“Whether you are an unemployed welder or a low-income mom struggling to afford each fill-up at the pump, the delays are particularly unfair to the least fortunate among us. Little wonder the American people overwhelmingly favor this project- Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. America is a nation of builders, and the American people want to see Keystone XL built.”

Fred Upton (R-MI) (Chair of Energy and Commerce Committee):
“The president last year declared that he’d do ‘whatever it takes’ to create U.S. jobs. Well, here’s a $7 billion construction project that will put thousands of Americans back to work. After more than four years – what are we waiting for?”
“This important bill takes the lessons we learned when the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline was met with unnecessary roadblocks. Just as the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline was a game changer in the 1970s, the Keystone XL project will be a game changer in our pursuit of North American energy independence.”

Testimony Highlights:

Alex Pourbaix (President, TransCanada)
“[b]y transporting crude oil from growing, secure North American basins in Canada, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and West Texas to the U.S. refining market, Keystone XL could serve as part of the solution to higher U.S. energy prices by increasing crude oil supply to the United States and improving the perception of future U.S. supply availability. The price of gasoline for much of the U.S. is heavily affected by the refining economics of Gulf Coast refiners because they supply a significant proportion of U.S. gasoline demand.”

Keith Shelter (President and Co-Owner of Delta Valves):
“[W]hen the US Government failed to move forward with the Keystone XL pipeline many of the large projects were put on hold or cancelled. MANY US companies were hurt by this, including Delta Industrial. We had just moved from our 25,000 square foot manufacturing facility to a “new” 90,000 square foot plant, and had begun to fill it with additional equipment, and more importantly, the WORKERS to operate that equipment.”

David L. Millino (Laborer’s International Union of North America)
“The unemployment rate in the construction industry reached over 27% in 2010, and joblessness in construction remains far higher than any industry or sector, with over 1 million construction workers currently unemployed in the United States. Too many hard-working Americans are out of work, and the Keystone XL Pipeline will change that dire situation for thousands of them.”

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