House passes Keystone XL Pipeline Act, Grijalva calls for veto

keystoneOn Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline with a bipartisan vote of 266-153. The bill would put an end to the lengthy delay of the project that has gone on for over six years.

President Obama has vowed to veto the bill.

“The Keystone XL pipeline has met all the requirements this administration has demanded and more and once the new Republican Senate passes the bill, the buck will stop at the White House,” said Chairman Lummis. “This vote, this bill, and building the pipeline is a real no-brainer. It would mean stronger energy security for the nation, a boost for local economies, and a positive, lasting economic ripple effect throughout the country. President Obama will need to suspend his anti-economic growth agenda for one moment, listen to his own State Department, and get this pipeline constructed.”

“The American people have entrusted this new Congress with creating a prosperous economy,” said Chairman Emeritus Pearce. “The unnecessary stalling by President Obama over this project is costing Americans good paying jobs every day and is a good example of the inaction that the American people are fed up with.

This bill will provide shovel ready jobs for Americans and will increase American energy independence while strengthening our national security. The President has used a Nebraska Supreme Court case as an excuse to prevent this critical jobs measure. This morning the Nebraska Supreme Court upheld the route of the pipeline, effectively eroding the President’s last excuse. I urge the President to put politics aside and listen to the majority of Americans by approving this commonsense piece of legislation.”

“This is day 2,303 of this process, and it is time to build this pipeline now,” said Congressman Cramer. “It’s time because it’s good for job creation, for the environment, for national security, for economic security, and it is good because 62.8% labor force participation is the lowest since 1978, and this project creates jobs. For these reasons, not only do majorities in the United States House and Senate support it, but the vast majority of the people of the United States support it.”

Ahead of the vote Arizona Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva urged his colleagues to support President Obama’s promised veto after the bill’s expected passage.

“This is an earmark for a Canadian corporation,” Grijalva said. “This is not about bringing down the cost of gas, which it won’t, or making the United States less dependent on foreign energy sources, which it won’t. My colleagues have a chance to take an important stand early in this Congress on behalf of taxpayers, the environment, Native American communities and the rule of law by sustaining President Obama’s veto and rejecting this unneeded boondoggle.”

Grijalva wrote in The Guardian on Wednesday, Keystone supporters have “never accepted that the burden of proof is on them to establish the need for this polluting, environmentally risky project. Instead, oil-hungry Republicans have insisted that everyone take their economic claims at face value and have accused environmentally responsible skeptics of not getting with the program. . . . What Democrats need to do now is stick together and give the president a veto-proof Keystone ‘no’ vote on the floor. Years of statement-making and maneuvering are about to come to a head. The vote total is the only statement anyone’s going to listen to from now on. It’s time to stand firm.”

Arizona Congressman, Vice-Chair of the Western Caucus was in Arizona due to a family emergency, but notified constituents that he would have voted for it.

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