Members of congress are urging President Trump to take action to move construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline forward after a federal judge overturned the State Department’s approval of the project in a ruling last month.
In a Dec. 14 letter, forty-four lawmakers, including Montana Sen. Steve Daines and Rep. Greg Gianforte said the recent court decision “has brought real and immediate consequences, halting critical preconstruction activities and invalidating the analysis that underlies the approval issued by your administration.”
“This comes despite extensive review by the previous Administration saying the pipeline will have minimal environmental impact and generate significant economic benefits,” the letter states.
“While we believe that it is important to conduct appropriate environmental reviews, we also believe that further review will not contribute to the existing body of science that already supports pipeline construction and instead will have a significant impact in our rural communities.”
Lawmakers go on to note that the $8 billion project will create an estimated 6,600 new jobs and amount to a nearly a $4 billion capital investment in 2019 alone. According to the letter, the November court decision halting pre-construction activities has already resulted in a loss of at least 700 jobs.
“We respectfully urge you to take every practicable step to get this project over the finish line and workers back on the construction sites.”
GAIN Coalition spokesman Craig Stevens echoed the concerns outlined by lawmakers, while also emphasizing the importance of the project. “Continued study of the matter places an unnecessary burden on limited government resources, while intensifying concerns about the regulatory uncertainty provided to vital infrastructure projects,” Stevens said.
“The Keystone XL pipeline represents an important investment in both the U.S. and Canadian economies and should be built without further delay.”