WASHINGTON, DC –(ENEWSPF)—January 9, 2015. Today, the House passed H.R. 3, legislation approving construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, by a vote of 266 -153. Rep. Jan Schakowsky released the following statement in response to the bill’s passage:
“Today, I voted against H.R. 3, the Keystone XL approval bill. I did so because the pipeline would threaten public health and the environment while having no beneficial impact on energy security or consumer costs.
The Keystone XL pipeline would allow the full development of the Alberta tar sands, which contain 240 gigatons of carbon dioxide. The entire world can only afford to burn a little more than double that amount before we encounter catastrophic and irreversible climate change. The pipeline would push nearly a million barrels of oil each day directly through the Ogallala Aquifer – which supplies 30 percent of the United Sates irrigation water and drinking water to millions of Americans. When we consider that the first leg of the Keystone pipeline suffered 12 significant leaks in its first year of operation, there is a very real risk that the oil traveling through this pipeline would contaminate one of our nation’s most important water sources.
The pipeline would not promote American energy independence – it would transport Canadian oil to Texas for refining and export. It would not reduce gas prices (which are now at 5-year lows) – in fact, several studies have found that its construction, which would move oil that is currently landlocked in the middle of the country down to the Gulf Coast, would actually increase the price at the pump in the Midwest.
The Keystone XL pipeline would support 35 permanent jobs and a couple thousand temporary jobs during construction – and those jobs are important. But rather than risking public health for millions of Americans in exchange for those jobs, we should invest in needed water infrastructure improvements to support pipeline jobs and encourage clean energy alternatives that have been shown to support three times as many jobs – per dollar spent – as fossil fuels.
This bill does the bidding of the handful of interests that would win big if Keystone XL is completed: Big oil and a Canadian pipeline company. At the same time, it disregards the health and economic concerns of the American people.
I will continue to fight against the construction of this pipeline moving forward.”