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Stutzman leads Hoosier letter to administration on Keystone XL Pipeline

U.S. Congressman Marlin Stutzman led a letter on behalf of members of Indiana’s congressional delegation, urging the Obama Administration to rule that construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline is in the national interest.

“Russia’s vast energy resources have allowed Vladimir Putin to exploit the West’s energy insecurity and tighten his grip on neighboring countries,” said Congressman Stutzman. “The Obama Administration should respond to Russian aggression in Ukraine by taking bold steps to promote American energy security, expand natural gas production, unlock offshore resources, and immediately approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. Lowering the price of energy undermines a key component of Putin’s strategy and promotes prosperity here at home.”

In the letter, members write: “The state of Indiana and the country will benefit greatly from the full construction of this $7 billion, 1,700-mile pipeline. From manufacturing and transportation to utilities and agriculture, this project will create jobs and lower costs for hardworking Hoosiers...In light of this project’s impact on energy security, job creation, and environmental protections, the Keystone XL Pipeline is undeniably in the national interest to complete. There can be no further delay.”

Friday was the last day for the U.S. State Department’s public comment period to determine if completion of the northern leg of the Keystone XL Pipeline serves the national interest.

The full text of the letter is as follows:

Dear Secretary Kerry:

As members of Indiana’s delegation in Congress, we respectfully request the Department of State and Obama Administration rule that the Keystone XL Pipeline’s construction is in the national interest to complete.

The state of Indiana and the country will benefit greatly from the full construction of this $7 billion, 1,700 mile pipeline. From manufacturing and transportation to utilities and agriculture, this project will create jobs and lower costs for hard-working Hoosiers.

Given that the southern leg of the pipeline has been in operation since January 2014, completion of the northern leg would ensure transport of 830,000 barrels of oil per day to the Gulf Coast and Midwest refineries from Canada and the Bakken region of Montana and North Dakota. This means an additional $3.5 billion to U.S. GDP.  This also means increased safety for the industry, as pipelines are by far the safest mode of transportation for crude oil and natural gas.

At the close of the Department of State’s comment period for this project, the federal government will have spent nearly 2,000 days evaluating the potential impact of building the Keystone XL Pipeline. Numerous exhaustive environmental reviews have determined that this project poses a minimal environmental threat. In fact, these same reports have actually determined that failure to build the pipeline will result in significantly higher greenhouse gas emissions.

The House of Representatives has taken bipartisan actions to approve this project, most recently in May of 2013 with the passage of H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act.  Additionally, a bipartisan majority in the U.S. Senate has voted favorably for action on the Keystone XL Pipeline. Most importantly, recent polling indicates that close to sixty percent of the American people want completion of the northern leg of the pipeline.

In light of this project’s impact on energy security, job creation, and environmental protections, the Keystone XL Pipeline is undeniably in the national interest to complete. There can be no further delay. We urge the Department of State and President Obama to provide timely approval for this project and thank you in advance for your attention to our comments.

Should the need arise, please feel free to contact our offices regarding this project and its impact on Indiana.

Sincerely,

Congressman Marlin Stutzman

Congresswoman Susan Brooks

Congressman Larry Bucshon

Congressman Luke Messer

Congressman Todd Rokita

Congresswoman Jackie Walorski

Congressman Todd Young