A significant obstacle to construction of the Keystone pipeline was removed Friday, as the State Department released its review of the project. The State Department said there were no major environmental objections to construction of the pipeline. President Obama has no more reason to block its construction.
Lawmakers heralded the news.
Rep. Lee Terry from Nebraska, where a portion of the pipeline would travel, said in a statement, “After over five years, President Obama is out of excuses. There is no question that moving forward with Keystone XL is in our ‘national interest.’ This is an opportunity for the President to do more than just talk about ‘an all-of-the-above energy strategy.'”
“Finally, after months of unexplained delays, the State Department has issued its fifth and final environmental report on the Keystone XL pipeline,” said Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “It confirms there is no reason to oppose the project and clears the way for the president’s approval.”
The proposed pipeline would carry oil from the booming oil sands in Canada to US refineries. In addition to construction and maintenance jobs, the pipeline would also ensure refineries have access to an abundant supply of oil, which should lower gas prices.
“Keystone XL pipeline will create jobs in the tens of thousands, lessen our dependency on energy from hostile nations, and help lower prices at the pump,” House Foreign Affairs Chair Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) said.
The White House has not released a statement on the State Department report.