July 22, 2011
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, supports H.R. 1938, the “North American-Made Energy Security Act,” which would help facilitate better coordination of the Keystone XL Pipeline federal permit approval process and give much needed certainty by providing a deadline for a decision on the Presidential permit.
Increasing global demand for energy and the continued economic and political volatility in many oil producing regions demonstrates a clear and growing need here at home for all forms of reliable and affordable energy. Canada remains the largest supplier of imported oil and natural gas to the United States. According to a report done for the U.S. Department of Energy (Ensys, 2010), U.S. refining and importing of Canadian crude could more than double in the next two decades. This projected increase would curb dependency on oil from other countries, some of whom are unstable or unfriendly to U.S. interests.
Canada is a secure and reliable source of affordable energy, and the Keystone XL Pipeline project provides the U.S. with a tremendous opportunity to take advantage of a stable source of needed energy from a strategic ally. The pipeline project is expected to create more than 20,000 high-paying construction and manufacturing jobs in the near term and more than 250,000 permanent jobs in the long run (The Perryman Group, 2010). The Alberta oil sands will be developed to produce crude, regardless of the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Without the pipeline project to connect this new source of Canadian crude to U.S. refiners in the Midwest and Texas, the Canadian crude will be shipped to non-U.S. markets, mostly in Asia.
H.R. 1938 would help facilitate the Keystone XL federal permit process by making the Department of Energy responsible for coordinating all necessary federal actions relating to the cross border permitting process. By requiring the President to make a final decision on the Keystone XL project within 30 days after the final Environmental Impact Statement or by November 1, 2011, this legislation would provide industry and labor a definitive approval deadline, ending more than two years of federal consideration and an endless stream of delays. Additionally, the bill explicitly ensures existing environmental review responsibilities are not impacted.
The Chamber strongly urges you to support H.R. 1938. The Chamber may consider
votes on, or in relation to, this issue in our annual How They Voted scorecard.
R. Bruce Josten