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Inhofe Applauds Congressional Action on Keystone

Republicans Push For Quick Action on Jobs, Energy Security

Washington, D.C. - Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, applauded the passage of the payroll tax cut extension, which includes a provision requiring President Obama to make a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline within 60 days.  On November 10, 2011, President Obama's State Department announced that it would delay the Keystone XL pipeline decision until after the 2012 election. 

"Today's passage of Keystone legislation is great news for jobs and economic recovery," Senator Inhofe said. 

"In my state of Oklahoma alone the Keystone pipeline will create 14,000 new jobs.  It will also greatly enhance Cushing, Oklahoma's ability to distribute crude oil supplies, which is crucial for our energy security.  As Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, the construction of the Keystone pipeline has been one of my priorities and I'm pleased that we have made significant gains today towards achieving this victory for the American people. 

"The Keystone pipeline has strong bipartisan support.  As former Obama National Security Advisor Jim Jones said ‘In a tightly contested global economy, where securing energy resources is a national must, we should be able to act with speed and agility. And any threat to this project, by delay or otherwise, would constitute a significant setback.'  ‘The failure to [move forward with the Keystone project] will prolong the risk to our economy and our energy security' and ‘send the wrong message to job creators.' 

"Opponents of the pipeline believe that stopping its construction will prevent Canada from developing its tar sands.  Of course, the opposite is true.  According to Austan Goolsbee, former chairman of the Obama White House Council of Economic Advisers, ‘It's a bit naïve to think the tar sands would not be developed if they don't build that pipeline.'

"Republicans were able to overcome Senate Democratic leadership opposition and reach across the aisle to Democrats who understand the importance of the Keystone pipeline for economic recovery.  By passing this legislation, Congress sent a clear bipartisan message to President Obama that ‘we can't wait' for these new jobs.  Now President Obama will have to decide whether he will stand with his radical environmental friends and their destructive global warming agenda or with a majority of the American people who want to strengthen our energy security and create hundreds of thousands of jobs.  I hope he makes the right choice."