Miss. Senators Cosponsor Bill to Authorize Keystone XL Pipeline

Studied for Five Years, Pipeline Would be Permitted Using Congressional Authority

May 2, 2014

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today cosponsored legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline through Congress’ constitutional authority and bypass Obama administration foot dragging on the energy project that would support more than 400,000 jobs.

The Mississippi Senators are among 56 original sponsors to bipartisan legislation introduced by Senator John Hoeven (R-N.D.) that would expedite permitting for the Keystone Pipeline using congressional authority enumerated in the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8.  With passage of this legislation, a presidential permit would no longer be needed to approve the project.

“There is no excuse for missed opportunities in today’s economy, especially when 10.5 million Americans can’t find work,” Wicker said. “President Obama has played politics with this issue for way too long – jeopardizing America’s strategic interests and economic growth. The American people are demanding swift action. I am hopeful that this overwhelmingly bipartisan bill will be considered by the Senate soon.”

“If the Obama administration is unwilling to make a decision on a project that would create thousands of American jobs and improve our energy security, then let Congress make it,” Cochran said.  “The pipeline has been thoroughly reviewed, and there is no reason to keep it in limbo when we have demand for more energy and an economy that is not growing fast.”

The Hoeven legislation would authorize the construction and operation of the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to the U.S. Gulf Coast.  It would formally recognize the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) released by the State Department in January. The EIS concluded that the construction of the pipeline would have no significant impact on the environment.

The White House recently announced that it would delay a decision indefinitely on whether to allow the Keystone pipeline to be permitted for construction.  The project has been under review for more than five years, with four favorable environmental reports completed to date.

In addition to creating substantial construction-related jobs, the Keystone XL pipeline would enable the transport of an additional 830,000 barrels of oil per day to U.S. refineries, including energy produced from the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana.