WASHINGTON – Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today sponsored legislation allowing Congress to vote on granting TransCanada the required permits to begin construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
“The President gives speeches about energy security and creating jobs, but this legislation would actually do it. Our bill approves the pipeline while allowing Nebraska and TransCanada the time they need to find the right route through our state,” Johanns said. “This pipeline is not only a national priority because of the energy and jobs it will bring, it’s also a Nebraska priority.
“The President rejected this project because of politics. Congress now has the responsibility to approve it because it’s clearly in the best interest of our country.”
Upon passage, the legislation allows TransCanada to begin pipeline construction outside of Nebraska immediately. Construction in Nebraska would begin only after a route has been approved. The legislation builds off the completed Environmental Impact Statement finished by the U.S. State Department on August 26, 2011.
On January 20, a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report reaffirmed Congress’ Constitutional authority to oversee foreign commerce, as outlined in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution.
The legislation Johanns sponsored will be introduced today by Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.).