The White House has needlessly delayed construction of the Keystone XL pipeline in spite of the project’s promise to bring jobs and affordable energy to America. It has now been over 1,600 days since the Keystone XL pipeline application was filed with the State Department, and the American people are still waiting for the president to approve this landmark jobs and energy project. The Keystone XL pipeline will help create thousands of middle class jobs. Once constructed, the pipeline would bring nearly a million barrels a day of oil to the United States, helping to reduce our dependence on Middle East oil and providing a stable and affordable energy source to American businesses and consumers.
As the president delays approval of Keystone, his administration is also preventing the development of one of America’s most affordable and abundant energy resources. The United States is home to the largest estimated reserves of coal in the world, and coal remains our country’s greatest source of electricity. But the future of this important American resource is in jeopardy as the EPA continues to pursue harsh regulations aimed at shutting down coal plants. This regulatory attack on coal has already contributed to numerous plant and mine closures across the country and the loss of thousands of middle class jobs. EPA’s recently proposed rule regulating emissions for new power plants will effectively ban the construction of any new coal-fired power plants in America, and the administration is now considering additional rules to regulate emissions at existing power plants. These regulatory policies could mean the end of coal-fired generation in America.
The Keystone XL pipeline and our country’s vast coal reserves represent an opportunity to help create jobs, make energy more affordable, and restore a thriving middle class. We have the potential to become North American energy independent and rebuild America’s economy, but the president must stop ignoring our energy resources and embrace these positive solutions.
Gingrey, a Republican from Georgia, is
vice-chairman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy.