Senator Dick Lugar:
Time to pursue domestic energy alternatives and reduce the need for
December 7, 2011
Senator Dick Lugar Keystone XL Pipeline Press Conference Statement :
Our foreign oil vulnerability endangers our national security and puts
our war-fighters and civilian personnel at risk. It also worsens our
national budget situation as we spend billions of dollars to ensure safe
passage of oil around the world. Building the TransCanada Keystone
pipeline NOW is a dramatic opportunity to change that energy and
national security equation.
At the same time, we have a dramatic opportunity to create American jobs
NOW! Job creation is the number one issue in our nation. The Keystone XL
pipeline is the largest infrastructure project ready, NOW, for
construction in the United States. President Obama has the opportunity
of creating 20,000 new jobs NOW. Incredibly, he has delayed a decision
until after the 2012 election apparently in fear of offending a part of
his political base and even risking the ire of construction unions who
support the pipeline.
Therefore, today we introduce legislation, the North American Energy
Security Act, requiring the Obama Administration to issue a permit
within 60 days to allow the Keystone XL project to move forward. It
contains environmental protections, guards states' rights, protects
Nebraska's ability to shift the route around the Sand Hills without
holding up construction elsewhere, and concludes the comprehensive
3-year federal review of the final Environmental Impact Statement.
Keystone is a $7 billion private sector investment in the U.S. -- half a
billion in salaries and $6.5 billion worth of materials, services and
other local economic activity. After construction the pipeline will
continue to be a job creator and encourage oil production along the
route, such as the Bakken areas of North Dakota and Montana.
secure and reliable trade with Canada complements our need to
aggressively pursue domestic alternatives to oil imports from less
friendly nations. My own Practical Energy plan would reduce need for
foreign oil by 6.3 million barrels per day by 2030, cutting our trade
deficit by more than $215 billion annually. At the same time, we cannot
afford to ignore the reliability and transparency of where we get our
imports. The Obama Administration has failed to produce a persuasive
domestic strategy to reduce foreign oil dependence, and now it is
failing to grasp the potential of energy security within North America.
The Keystone bill will stop the Administration's delay tactics. It falls
within the jurisdiction of the Foreign Relations Committee, and I will
push for the quickest possible consideration.
I want to express my appreciation for the enthusiastic leadership of our
Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, as well as Senators John Hoeven,
David Vitter, Mike Johanns, and Lisa Murkowski. And I want to thank each
of my colleagues for their assistance. We must not delay the energy
producing and job creating opportunities of this project. It is not only
a matter of our national security but also our pocketbooks as some
analysts predict record high gasoline prices by early summer 2012. There
is no time for a delay.