Baucus on Presidents Keystone Decision: More Action Is Needed, Now
Senator applauds President for responding to repeated calls to move pipeline project forward, but says more must be done
Posted: Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Posted: Wednesday, March 21, 2012
(Washington, D.C.) - Montana's senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus today applauded the President for responding to repeated calls to move the Keystone XL pipeline forward, but urged the President, in a letter today, to do more. Baucus has led efforts to move the project forward for months, most recently urging TransCanada to begin construction on the Baker, Mont. to Cushing, Okla. portion of the project, which does not need a Presidential permit.
The White House confirmed that President Obama will direct federal agencies to prioritize permitting of TransCanada's southern segment of the Keystone XL pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast. Montana is in the northern segment, which runs from the Alberta border to Baker, MT, to Oklahoma.
"I'm glad the President responded to repeated calls to move the Keystone Pipeline project forward, but more action is needed, now. Expediting the southern segment of the Keystone Pipeline is a step in the right direction, but we're ready in the north, too. It's time to get this done for Montana and our nation-our jobs and energy security depend on it," Baucus said.
Text of Baucus' letter, as well as a timeline on Baucus' work to move Keystone forward, are below:
Text of Letter to President Obama:
March 21, 2012
The President of the United States of America
Dear Mr. President:
I applaud your decision this week to direct federal agencies to prioritize permitting of TransCanada's southern segment of the Keystone XL pipeline and speed up approval of vital energy infrastructure. At a time of high gasoline prices, it is heartening to see your Administration take positive steps to improve our energy security and create jobs at the same time.
I urge you to do even more. We are ready in the north, too.
Montana has a tremendous opportunity to bring 100% American crude oil online which would be carried by Keystone XL more safely than it is currently transported.
After more than three years of analysis, I have been dismayed to witness the unnecessary delays that have kept $7 billion of private capital on the sidelines. While your decision this week and TransCanada's decision to pursue the southern segment will put some shovels in the ground early, more could be done.
I wrote a letter to TransCanada CEO Russ Girling on February 27th urging him to consider early construction of the Baker, Montana to Oklahoma segment of the pipeline in order to avoid the red tape that has tied up the cross-border segment at the Canadian border. Your Administration can help make that decision viable.
I wrote a letter to you on January 31st applauding you for promoting "homegrown, American energy" in your State of the Union Address. I also asked your Administration "to find as many ways as possible to encourage and enable job creation in this region by decreasing regulation, streamlining applications and making assistance and information locally available."
Your Administration has demonstrated a willingness this week to cut through the red tape. I respectfully ask you to keep the scissors in hand.
Senator Max Baucus
Timeline of Baucus' work:
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