Jan 31 2014
BISMARCK, N.D. – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today issued the below statement following the U.S. Department of State’s release of its final Environmental Impact Statement on the Keystone XL Pipeline.
“Today, we are one step closer toward approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. This report again reaffirmed that construction of the pipeline will have minimal environmental impact. It also recognizes what I have repeatedly stated – regardless of whether this pipeline is built or not, the Canadian oil-sands will be developed. The question is, will Canada move it to the U.S. to be refined, or somewhere else across the globe? We have the opportunity to make sure it comes to the U.S., where it would boost domestic energy production by bringing in oil from our greatest trading partner and friend, and continue to move us toward North American energy security and independence – a goal we all want to achieve.
“The U.S. has thousands of pipelines moving oil and gas throughout the U.S., with many already moving products between the U.S. and Canada. While politics has continually been brought into this discussion, we need to remember that this is simply a transportation issue. North Dakotans know very well that we need to greatly increase our capacity to transport energy, and doing it by pipeline is one of the safer ways to do that.
“It’s appalling this process is taking so long. Not only is it unacceptable, but it’s embarrassing that we cannot approve a pipeline application in the time it took us to fight World War II. Since I took office, I have addressed this issue using both common sense, and my private sector experience working for Dakota Gasification for twelve years. I’ll continue to press the Administration to approve this pipeline, which is in our economic, national security, and energy interests. It’s the right thing for our country.”
Heitkamp has long been a fierce advocate for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. She has repeatedly taken action to move the project forward, including:
- Traveling to Canada to discuss the project and see the oil sands firsthand and meet with Alberta Premier Alison Redford.
- Hosting Alberta Premier Alison Redford in Washington, D.C. to discuss the Keystone XL project and continue efforts to forge a strong energy partnership between the two countries.
- Meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird and Canadian Ambassador to the United States Gary Doer to discuss the importance of the Keystone XL Pipeline to energy interests on both sides of the border.
- Writing to the President on the 5-year anniversary of the application, highlighting her trip to Canada to see the oil sands first hand.
- Working together with the North Dakota Congressional Delegation to lay out the facts surrounding the project.
- Urging Secretary Kerry, as soon as he took over the State Department, to make considering the project a top priority.