U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) voted with the U.S. House of Representatives on Nov. 14 to approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, creating 42,100 jobs and moving the country towards greater energy independence.
“It’s past time to build,” said Rep. Denham. “State Department estimates show that construction on the pipeline would create more than 40,000 jobs. As part of an all-of-the-above energy strategy, the pipeline will help us move towards North American energy independence and boost our economic growth. TransCanada has agreed to measures that will make this the safest pipeline in history. Building is simple common sense.”
In an address on the House floor Thursday, Rep. Denham outlined the safety procedures TransCanada has agreed to in order to ensure that the Keystone XL pipeline is the safest ever built. On the recommendation of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), 59 special conditions have been agreed to, including several to help ensure the use of high-quality steels and welds, both of which will reduce the chance of a pipeline release. The pipeline will also include automatic shut-off valves and increase the depth of cover. In many places, the pipeline will be buried a foot deeper than the regulations require. TransCanada has also agreed to provide enhanced right-of-way inspections and greater transparency in reporting to PHMSA.
It has been more than six years since the application to build reached the State Department. The most recent environmental impact statement, the second issued on this project, concludes that not building the pipeline creates greater safety and environmental risks than building, since the necessary oil would be transported through other means if not through the pipeline. Estimates also show that construction would generate approximately $2 billion in earnings throughout the country.