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U.S. Chamber’s Energy Institute Marks Five Year Anniversary of Keystone XL Pipeline Application

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 8:00pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy today marked the five year anniversary of TransCanada’s application to construct the Keystone XL pipeline to deliver oil from Canada to the United States. Energy Institute president and CEO Karen Harbert testified about the exhaustive review process and continued delay in issuing a Presidential permit today at a hearing of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. 

“It took America five years to build the Hoover Dam, one year to build the Empire State Building and four years to build the New Jersey Turnpike.  Yet after five years, the Obama Administration has not even finished its review of the Keystone XL pipeline,” said Harbert.

Harbert noted that the delay on Keystone was indicative of a larger problem regarding construction of energy infrastructure.  It currently takes an average of three years for a typical project to complete an environmental impact assessment, let alone actually begin construction.

“Unfortunately, our energy sector suffers from a lengthy, unpredictable, and needlessly complex regulatory maze that delays, and often halts, the construction of new energy infrastructure,” Harbert continued.  “Federal and state environmental statutes such as NEPA, state siting and permitting rules, and a “build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything”—BANANA—mentality, routinely are used to block the construction and expansion of everything from transmission lines to power plants to pipelines.”

An economic analysis of the project by the Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI) found that construction and operation of the Keystone XL pipeline could generate as many as 25,000 jobs within five years and more than 116,000 jobs after 25 years.   In addition, TransCanada will pay more than $5.2 billion to local and state governments in taxes.

TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline is a $7 billion pipeline expansion project would increase the existing Keystone Pipeline system that connects Canada’s 175 billion barrel oil sands resource to U.S. refining centers from a capacity of 591,000 barrels per day to more than 1.1 barrels per day.

Harbert’s full testimony is available here.

The mission of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy is to unify policymakers, regulators, business leaders, and the American public behind a common sense energy strategy to help keep America secure, prosperous, and clean. Through policy development, education, and advocacy, the Institute is building support for meaningful action at the local, state, national, and international levels.

The U.S. Chamber is the world's largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.