Senate panel OKs Proos resolution urging Congress to override Obama veto of Keystone XL pipeline

LANSING—A Michigan Senate committee on Thursday approved Sen. John Proos’ resolution calling on U.S. Congress to override President Obama’s recent veto of legislation to authorize the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

“The Keystone XL pipeline offers us a rare chance to create jobs, protect the environment and reduce our dependence on unstable governments for oil,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “By partnering with Canada, we can meet the energy needs of a growing economy and also make the world a safer place. After years of inaction by the Obama Administration, Congress acted last month to approve building the pipeline, only to have the president choose the status quo over American jobs and North American energy independence.”

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.

Proos spoke about a Southwest Michigan company, Delta Industrial Manufacturing in Niles, which has a contract pending to make valves for the pipeline.

“My resolution encourages members of Congress to stand up with business and labor leaders, who all agree that the pipeline is a critical part to energy stability and long-term economic growth for our state and the nation,” Proos said. “Override the president’s veto and put Americans to work to safely and efficiently fuel our economy.”

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.

SCR 4 states 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.

“Instead of importing oil from unfriendly and often dangerous governments, we can partner with a trusted neighbor to meet the energy needs of a growing economy while also making the world a safer place,” Proos said. “The Keystone XL will also 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.”

SCR 4 has been approved by the Senate Energy and Technology Committee and now heads to the full Senate for consideration.