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Begich Joins Colleagues to Mark 5th Anniversary of Keystone XL Pipeline Application

Joins Bipartisan Group to Press Administration on Approving Keystone

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Republican Sen. John Hoeven (N.D.) as well as leaders from business and labor to mark the fifth anniversary of TransCanada’s original application for the Keystone XL pipeline project with no decision from President Obama.

“It’s frustrating that we are still standing here, five years later, pressing the President to approve this common-sense project,” said Begich. “The reasons to approve this pipeline are straightforward and simple: the Keystone XL pipeline would offer secure supply of energy from a trusted ally, create much-needed jobs, and provide a boost to our economy. It’s time for this administration to quit dragging its feet and approve this energy source once and for all.”

Participating in today’s news conference were Senators Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Congressman Lee Terry (R-Neb.). Also participating were Sean McGarvey, president of the North America’s Building Trades Unions, and Karen Harbert, president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy Institute.

The $7 billion, 1,700-mile, high-tech Keystone XL pipeline will carry 830,000 barrels of oil a day to U.S. refineries. That includes oil from not only Alberta, Canada, but also 100,000 barrels per day of light, sweet crude from the U.S. Bakken region in Montana and North Dakota. In the construction phase, it will create 42,000 jobs, according to the U.S. State Department. That means more revenues for struggling local economies, as well as for the federal government to help get on top of our deficit and debt.

The Keystone XL is not only an important jobs and economic project; it will also reduce the nation’s dependence on volatile parts of the world for energy, which will make us safer. Right now, between Canada, Mexico and the United States, North America produces more than 78 percent of the oil and gas we consume in the U.S. The Keystone XL pipeline will boost that figure by about 5 percent, taking us from 78 to 83 percent. That puts us well within striking range of the long-sought, long-elusive American goal of true energy security, which strengthens not only our economy, but also our national security.

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