Proos, Upton urge approval of the Keystone XL pipeline

LANSING—Sen. John Proos on Wednesday introduced a resolution calling on the president and the U.S. secretary of state to support North American energy development by approving the newly routed Keystone XL pipeline to safely bring Canadian oil to American refineries—a measure he says would create Michigan jobs as well as promote national defense interests.

“Approving the Keystone XL pipeline is a smart, common-sense solution to create jobs, protect the environment and reduce our dependence on unstable Middle East governments for oil,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “We must address America’s long- and short-term energy needs. We are adding more alternative energy sources, yet our economy will continue to rely on oil-based fuels for many years. By partnering with Canada, we can meet the energy needs of a growing economy while also making the world a safer place.”

Senate Concurrent Resolution 4 states that the Keystone XL project will create roughly 9,000 construction jobs and the corresponding $2.3 billion Gulf Coast project will create 4,000 construction jobs. Combined, they support yet another 7,000 manufacturing jobs.

“Debate about the Keystone pipeline has gone on for more than six years,” said Congressman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “We have had bipartisan support for this project from the start and support from around the nation that we see from others, such as Michigan state Senator John Proos. The president has no excuses left to delay this jobs, energy and infrastructure project. It’s time to build.”

Proos said that, once completed, the pipeline could displace roughly 40 percent of the oil the U.S. currently imports from the Persian Gulf and Venezuela.

“Instead of importing oil from unfriendly governments that use our dollars for undemocratic, often dangerous purposes – including funding terrorism – let’s look to a trusted neighbor who shares our values,” Proos said. “My resolution urges the president to join with leaders from business, labor and both parties, who all agree that the pipeline will safely and efficiently fuel our economy and create thousands of American jobs – many right here in Southwest Michigan.

“Thankfully, the new Congress has made building the pipeline a top priority. It is a critical part to energy stability and long-term economic growth for our state and the nation.”

Proos also said that the project has been thoroughly reviewed, having been subject to multiple environmental impact statements and U.S. studies. Each analysis has concluded that it poses the least amount of environmental impact than other modes of crude oil transportation.

“Pipelines are the safest way to transport petroleum products,” Proos said. “The Keystone XL will help protect the environment by replacing the equivalent of 200 ocean tankers per year, resulting in reduced emissions equal to taking nearly four million cars off the road.”

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Editor’s Note: Audio comments by Proos are available on the senator’s website at: www.SenatorJohnProos.com. Click on “Audio” under the Media Center tab.