U.S. Senator Mark Begich, a strong advocate for the Keystone XL pipeline, today co-sponsored binding legislation that would green-light the Keystone XL infrastructure project immediately.
“The Keystone XL pipeline will provide a secure supply of energy, create 42,000 jobs and is expected to generate over $20 billion of economic activity,” said Begich. “Natural resources can be developed safely and responsibly—Alaskans know that because we’ve been doing it for decades. Americans support this project and are tired of waiting for the Administration to move this project forward. The Senate is tired of waiting, too. Today we are taking the lead to push this project forward.”
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.
The updated measure formally recognizes the State Department’s final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) released in January, which concludes that construction of the Keystone XL pipeline would have no significant impact on the environment, nor would it make any difference in the development of the Canadian oil sands. Upon passage, a presidential permit would no longer be needed to approve the project.
A strong coalition of bipartisan senators, labor leaders and businesses support the pipeline and have urged for approval of the project.
Begich co-sponsored the bipartisan bill along with Senators Mary Landrieu D-La., the chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and John Hoeven R-N.D. Also co-sponsoring the bill are Sens. Mark Pryor, D-Ark.; Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.; Jon Tester, D-Mont.; Mark Warner, D-Va.; Kay Hagan, D-N.C.; Joe Manchin, D-W.V.; Joe Donnelly, D-Ind.; Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D.; and John Walsh, D-Mont. All Senate Republicans co-sponsored the bill, which is expected to come to a vote in the coming days.