Hoeven & Armstrong discuss importance of Keystone XL after President stopped it
By: Amanda Rooker
WASHINGTON (KVRR) – Congress took new action on the Keystone XL Pipeline this week.
Two new bills aim to revive the project’s construction.
During his first day in office, President Joe Biden put a stop to the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline. At the Capitol, several North Dakota lawmakers say a presidential permit is not required and introduced legislation in the House and the Senate to build the pipeline.
If constructed, the pipeline would transport 830,000 barrels of oil from Canada’s boreal forest all the way to Texas.
However, environmental and public safety concerns have made the pipeline the center of controversy since former President Barack Obama stopped its construction in 2015. The Trump Administration reversed that decision in 2017, but President Biden has put a stop to it once again.
Congressman Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota says building infrastructure projects takes longer than four years and shouldn’t depend on presidential approval.
“The permit was issued. The permit was lawfully issued. The Keystone XL pipeline has gone through numerous state lawsuits. It has been permitted from every federal alphabet soup agency and then with a stroke of a pen, all of that work gets undone. And that’s just not the way that’s not the way this country can work. Nor should it,” Armstrong said.
That’s why Rep. Armstrong introduced a House bill Tuesday that would authorize continued construction pushing back on criticism over the pipeline’s safety.
“Pipelines are the safest way to transport our product. We know that it keeps trucks off the streets, it keeps congestion off the rails, it frees it frees up more space for ag commodities and all of that,” Armstrong explained.
A companion bill was introduced in the Senate as well on Tuesday with support from North Dakota Senators John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer.
“We need pipelines and transmission lines throughout the country to move energy as safely and as effectively as possible, the lowest cost. And that’s vital not only in terms of jobs and our economic growth, but just energy security for our whole country,” Hoeven explained.
Senator Hoeven introduced legislation in 2015 that garnered bipartisan support, but was eventually vetoed by President Obama. He’s hoping this new bill will reach a different outcome but it will again need support from Democrats.
A committee hearing needs to be scheduled next. Hoeven says he hopes that hearing will come within the month.