Senate follows House with Keystone XL jump-start bill

US Sens. John Hoeven (R-ND) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said they will introduce legislation to bypass the White House and federally approve the proposed Keystone crude oil pipeline’s cross-border permit. Their Mar. 14 announcement came a week after House Energy and Commerce Committee members released a similar proposal (OGJ Online Mar. 11, 2013).

Hoeven, who is an Energy and Natural Resources Committee member, secured an opinion in 2012 from the Congressional Research Service that Congress has authority to approve the project under Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution’s commerce clause.

“The [US Department of State’s] favorable finding in its most recent report makes clear both the good environmental stewardship of the project and the need to begin construction without further delay,” he declared.

The proposed 1,700-mile pipeline from Alberta’s oil sands to US Gulf Coast refineries would transport 830,000 b/d of crude oil, including 100,000 b/d from the Bakken formation in Montana and North Dakota, according to the senators.

“This is about one simple thing: jobs,” said Baucus, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee. “At a time when job creation must be our No. 1 priority, approving the Keystone Pipeline is the perfect opportunity to put Montanans, and folks across the country, to work right now. American workers cannot afford to wait any longer for Keystone jobs, and there is absolutely no excuse for further delay.”

A draft bill circulated by Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) on Mar. 7 would eliminate the need for a presidential permit and find that the Aug. 26, 2011, final environmental impact statement issued by then-Sec. of State Hillary R. Clinton satisfied all National Environmental Policy Act requirements.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), and committee members Jim Matheson (D-Utah) and John Barrow (D-Ga.) cosponsored the proposal, which also would limit legal challenges aimed at delaying the project further.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

Related Articles

Judge bars Anadarko e-mails as evidence in Macondo blowout hearing

03/21/2014 A federal district judge in New Orleans refused to accept e-mails between Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and BP PLC as evidence in a hearing to determine...

Industry group welcomes most UK budget moves

03/21/2014 Oil & Gas UK voiced support for all but one of several measures affecting the offshore producing industry announced in the UK government’s annu...

MARKET WATCH: Crude oil, gas futures prices slide entering spring

03/21/2014

The first day of spring in the northern hemisphere was marked by lower crude oil and natural gas futures prices.

OMV acquires West of Shetland licenses from Hess

03/21/2014 OMV AG has reached an agreement with Hess Corp. to acquire four licenses in West of Shetland, UK, including Cambo field and the Blackrock prospect,...

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected