Tester, Baucus, Hoeven introduce bipartisan plan to approve Keystone XL pipeline

Senators: "It's time to put Montanans to work for Keystone"

(Washington) – Montana’s U.S. Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus teamed up with the North Dakota delegation to introduce bipartisan legislation today to approve the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline. The bill is building on momentum following a fourth favorable State Department environmental review indicating “no significant impact to the environment.”

“Built to the highest safety standards and with strong protections for private property rights, the Keystone XL Pipeline will boost our economy, create good Montana jobs, and increase our energy security,” Tester said. “This bill lets the President know that the Senate will keep pressing to build the pipeline, and that it should be approved without further delay.”

“This is about one simple thing: jobs,” Baucus said. “At a time when job creation must be our number one priority, approving the Keystone Pipeline is the perfect opportunity to put Montanans and folks across the country to work right now. American workers cannot afford to wait any longer for Keystone jobs, and there is absolutely no excuse for further delay.”

The senators’ bill would approve the 1,700-mile, high-tech project under Congress’s authority enumerated in the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8.

The Administration has delayed the project for more than four-and-a-half years. But now that Nebraska, the only state along the route with a concern has approved the path through the state, Tester, Baucus and Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) have been working cooperatively and with their respective party members to press the Administration to get both a timeline and a favorable decision.

“The Keystone XL pipeline project is perhaps the most thoroughly studied and long-delayed project of its kind in U.S. history,” Hoeven said. “The State Department’s favorable finding in its most recent report makes clear both the good environmental stewardship of the project and the need to begin construction without further delay. It will create tens of thousands of jobs, boost the American economy and raise hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues to help the federal and state governments address their debt and deficit problems without raising taxes. Further, it will help to put us within striking range of the long-sought goal of true energy security.”

Joining them as cosponsors on the bill are Senators Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Lisa Murkowski (R-Ala.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) Mary Landrieu (D-La.), David Vitter (R-La.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and James Risch (R-Idaho).

The legislation authorizes TransCanada to construct and operate the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to the U.S. Gulf Coast, transporting an additional 830,000 barrels of oil per day to U.S. refineries, which includes 100,000 barrels a day from the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana.