US Chamber ramps up push for oil sands pipeline

Keystone supporters call the Alberta-to-Texas pipeline vital to boosting U.S. energy security by expanding imports from Alberta’s massive oil sands projects.

The House approved GOP-backed legislation Monday — with 47 Democratic votes — that would require the Obama administration to make a decision on the project by Nov. 1.

But environmental groups, citing a string of recent pipeline accidents, say the project presents big risks, and more broadly they oppose oil sands production because it produces large amounts of greenhouse gas.

Matt Koch, a former lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute who has joined the Chamber’s energy branch, will lead the new partnership that will promote the pipeline and Canada’s oil sands more broadly.

“Initially, we’ll be recruiting local chambers, civic organizations and business leaders in states that will benefit from construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Over the long term, we will be building a strong network of supporters in favor of North America energy development that will improve our energy security and create jobs,” said Koch, who also served in the George W. Bush administration.