Senator Heidi Heitkamp United States Senator for North Dakota

Press Releases

Mar 24 2017

Heitkamp: Presidential Approval of Keystone XL is Commonsense Step Forward for U.S. Energy Infrastructure Expansion

Senator Has Long Pushed to Approve the Pipeline, Gathering Critical Bipartisan Support for Bill from Other Democrats for Legislation’s 2015 Passage in the Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today issued the following statement after the Trump Administration announced that they had granted a presidential permit to construct the Keystone XL pipeline.

“For almost a decade our country has been distracted by the politicization of a commonsense, energy infrastructure expansion project – that’s why the State Department’s approval this morning of TransCanada’s permit to construct the Keystone XL pipeline is a needed step in moving the country beyond the over-heated rhetoric so we can focus on an all-of-the-above energy strategy,” said Heitkamp. “Tough talk about infrastructure and diverse energy needs is easy – but that talk needs to be followed by real actions. Now that the Administration has cleared this hurdle for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, TransCanada can continue its work to secure the remaining pieces necessary to begin construction. While there are still several steps before construction can begin, today’s announcement is important to renewing the United States’ commitment toward mutually beneficial energy solutions with Canada. It’s my hope that we can roll up our up our sleeves and take the real, pragmatic steps our country needs to become energy secure. For years I’ve been working from the middle out to persuade cooler heads to prevail on this project in the U.S. Senate, and I’m ready to get to work.”

Heitkamp has long supported projects to diversify North America’s energy infrastructure, including through the Keystone XL pipeline’s construction. Since arriving in the U.S. Senate, Heitkamp has been working across the aisle to help move the project forward – building essential Democratic support for a bipartisan Senate bill to approve the Keystone pipeline. In addition to calling for bipartisan support for the bill in November 2014, Heitkamp recruited 10 other Democratic senators in April 2014 – key support that was vital for the bill’s passage in the Senate – to join her efforts to put pressure on the president to make a decision on the pipeline.

Heitkamp has repeatedly taken action to move the Keystone XL pipeline forward, including:

  • January 22, 2015Introduced five common-sense, workable energy solutions as amendments to the bill to approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline that would have strengthened the nation’s commitment to a path forward for coal energy, increased certainty for wind energy workers, cut bureaucratic red-tape for Native tribes seeking to drill oil on their reservations, and improved rail and pipeline oil transportation safety as well as resources and tools for first responders.


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