ICYMI: Inhofe asks President Obama to keep his promise to Oklahomans to make Keystone a

inhofe floor speech Keystone

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U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, spoke on the Senate floor yesterday on why we need to progress the building of the Keystone XL Pipeline. 

As prepared for delivery:

It was just over two years ago that President Obama came to Cushing, Oklahoma, gave a speech on national TV with all of the pipeline tubes in the background, andtold the American people that he would “cut through the red tape, break through bureaucratic hurdles, and make this project a priority, to go ahead and get it done.”

Since then, he has done everything to destroy the pipeline.  

The Southern leg of the pipeline may be finished, but that was the part of the project the President didn’t have any say in.  It was a separate project that did not require presidential approvalbecause it did not cross an international border.

The portion between Canada and Cushing (the crossroads of all pipelines), however, remains stalled, and at this point I think the only reason is billionaire Tom Steyer.

If you haven’t heard of him before, let me introduce you to him.

Back inFebruary, Tom Steyer revealed that he was planning to spend $100 million tomake two things happen: make global warming a national issue again and keep the Keystone Pipeline from being built.  And these are his words, not mine.

A few weeks ago, he said explicitly that “it is true that we expect to be heavily involved in the midterm elections…we are looking at a bunch of…races…My guess is that we’ll end up being involved in 8 or even more races.”

And we just learned this week that, as the President marks the 1-year anniversary of his Climate Action Plan that Tom Steyer is going to meet personally with him.  

I don’t know how much of the $100 million will be spent on a report to falsify the impact of global warming, but everyone knows that enacting global warming regulations will cost the nation $300 billion to $400 billion per year in lost economic activity (WEFA – MIT – Charles River).

The Keystone Pipeline, which Tom Steyer wants to stop, would create 42,000 jobs and tens of thousands more would be supported in the manufacturing sector.

But Keystone is just the tip of the iceberg.  If you look at this Chart [Chart 3] you can see all of the domestic energy resources that are being developed around the country right now.  We’re going through a shale revolution, and the only thing getting in the way is the federal government.

Since President Obama came to office, oil production on private and state lands is up 61%. 

Natural gas is up 33%.  On federal land, however, oil production is down 6% and natural gas production is down 28%.

ICF International, a well-respected consulting firm, released a report last month that said that U.S. companies will need to invest $641 billion over the next twenty years in infrastructure to keep up with growing oil and gas production.

What does this mean for jobs?  According to the analysis, the spending on these new pipelines alone will create 432,000direct jobs, and that’s based on a conservative estimate that does not assume we develop all of the resources in our country.  If it included that, it would likely be far higher.

Keepingthis from happening would be the real impact of imposing anti-energy globalwarming policies.  We need to build the Keystone Pipeline and provide regulatory certainty for the entire energy infrastructure sector.  Without it, we’ll never reach energy independence.

The Keystone Pipeline needs to be built.  We know all about the jobs, but more importantly there is not a single good reason why it should not be approved.   Tom Steyer’s goal is to stop the oil in Canada from being developed and used, but he can’t do it.  The Canadians have already had conversations with China about building a pipeline to Canada’s Pacific coast so they can ship the oil to Canada.  So if the oil doesn’t come to the United States, Canada will just send it to China.  Sorry Tom Steyer, you can’t win on this one.

Stopping the Keystone Pipeline is all pain for no gain.  We need to get it built.