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Upton Applauds House Passage of Widely Bipartisan Legislation to Expedite Long-Awaited Energy Pipeline, Create U.S. Jobs

Upton subcommittee to hold vital pipeline safety markup tomorrow

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Washington, DC, July 26, 2011 | Meghan Kolassa ((202) 225-3761) | comments

Congressman Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, praised House passage of bipartisan legislation to create jobs, lower energy prices, and fortify American energy security by supporting the expansion of the Keystone XL pipeline.  Upton is an original cosponsor of H.R. 1938, the North American-Made Energy Security (NAMES) Act of 2011, which would expedite a Presidential Permit for a 1,661-mile extension of the energy pipeline from Alberta, Canada to refineries in the United States. Expansion of the pipeline would allow for the stable and secure transportation of 1.3 million barrels of oil to the United States each day as well as create more than 100,000 jobs.  H.R. 1938 passed the House 279-147 and now heads to the Senate for further action.

“We have a rare opportunity to simultaneously create thousands of good-paying jobs and fortify our nation’s energy security, but once again this administration has put political considerations ahead of sound policymaking,” said Upton.  “There is no changing the fact that our nation’s energy needs will continue to grow.  Unless that demand is met with an increased production of North American energy, Michigan families will become even more dependent on volatile oil-producing nations.”

The application for the Presidential Permit required to move forward on the pipeline project has sat at the Department of State for nearly three years.  The NAMES Act would require the President to issue a Presidential Permit decision by no later than November 1, 2011.  Upton had sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in November 2010, urging the administration to promptly approve the Presidential Permit application. 

Canada is currently the United States’ largest supplier of oil imports, sending over 2.5 million barrels per day to U.S. refineries in 2010.  The Athabasca oil sands in Alberta currently produce 1.7 million barrels per day and recent projections estimate production will reach 2.1 million barrels per day by 2015.  Because Canada is also the United States’ largest trading partner, it is estimated that for every American dollar spent on products from Canada, including oil, 91 cents is returned to the U.S. economy.

Tomorrow the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Energy and Power will consider vital legislation to improve the U.S. pipeline safety. Upton, the original sponsor of the bipartisan legislation, has made it a priority to pass comprehensive pipeline safety legislation this Congress.

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