WASHINGTON – Rep. Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) in voting today for H.R. 3, a bill to approve the northern section of the Keystone XL Pipeline had some harsh words for President Obama. The legislation passed the House by a vote of 266 to 153.
The second-term lawmaker issued the following statement after the vote:
“For over six years President Obama has made a deliberate effort to block the completion of the Keystone Pipeline. By doing so he’s played into the hands of pocketbook environmentalists and ignored the needs of the American majority,” Mullin said.
“Despite this, I’m proud to say that House has been unified in putting the priorities of the American people first. Today, we passed for the tenth time a bill that would approve the final leg of the pipeline, create high-paying American jobs and make steps towards energy independence.
“The southern leg of the pipeline is already operational and runs through the Second District. I’ve see the benefits that the southern leg has already had in my district and I know this approval will enhance these effects. Additionally, we know from the State Department’s reports and other sources that the final construction of the pipeline will support around 42,100 jobs and provide $5 billion in private-sector investment into the economy. This is exactly the type of economic growth that Americans want.
“With the Republican-led Senate, the President can no longer ignore the will of the American people. I look forward to this legislation quickly moving to his desk.”
The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) President Charles T. Drevna following the vote to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline said, “Members in the House know what the people want, voting for the tenth time to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, and we look forward to an affirmative vote in the Senate next week.
“Despite recent reports that the White House has threatened to veto legislation to approve the Keystone pipeline, we hope that President Obama will finally respect the wishes of the American public. Construction of the pipeline is long overdue. By allowing it to proceed we will get the new year off to a positive start as jobs will almost immediately be created, and we take one step closer to North American energy independence,” Drevna said.
Nebraska’s Supreme Court added fuel to the fire on Friday by reversing a lower court ruling, upholding a 2012 law giving authority to the governor to approve Keystone’s route through the state. The decision handed down Friday morning clears a key hurdle for the Canada-to-Texas project.
The Hill is reporting that Republicans had argued the ruling was simply an excuse for the Obama administration to avoid the pipeline. “The administration has said that [pending case in Nebraska] was the major hurdle. It has fallen. So I hope the president is not going to establish another hurdle, that being himself,” said Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman.
But Democrats dismissed GOP claims the pipeline would create American jobs, arguing it would pose environmental risks and primarily help a Canadian energy company.
“We take risk to our lands, the American people face threats to their health, and TransCanada gets to reap the rewards. That’s not a winning formula for our country or the economy,” said Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.).
Oklahoma Representatives Mullin, Bridenstine, Cole, Lucas and Russell voted in favor of the bill.