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In a letter addressed to Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California, the Associated Equipment Distributers and 17 other construction industry associations and unions called for the House of Representatives to approve a bill that would negate the need for President Barack Obama to sign off on the Keystone XL pipeline project.
“Put simply, Keystone XL offers a safe, practical way to bring more Canadian oil to U.S. refineries, thereby benefitting American consumers and workers, and improving our energy and economic security,” the letter reads. “The project serves our national interest and should be approved without delay.”
Bill H.R. 3, known as the Northern Route Approval Act, would grant environmental and right-of-way permits and would set in motion an expedited judicial review process for legal challenges to the project in order to prevent construction from being delayed by the courts any longer.
“The Keystone XL pipeline has been pending for more than four years,” the letter reads. “The delay threatens job creation, economic growth, and our relationship with Canada, our closest ally and trading partner.”
The letter notes that “according to the State Department’s draft Environmental Impact Statement, the project is expected to support more than 42,000 jobs across the country, translating to $2 billion in earnings for workers, and amounting to approximately $3.3 billion in direct expenditures such as construction and materials costs.”