House Republicans have released a plan to fast-track the long delayed Keystone XL pipeline that would take the final decision out of the president’s hands.
“It’s been over four years and thousands of pages of environmental reviews. The experts have weighed in. Now is the time to build the Keystone Pipeline,” said Nebraska Republican Rep. Lee Terry, author of the draft legislation.
The draft bill would mean that the pipeline would not need a presidential permit and that the final environmental review done by the State Department in 2011 would satisfy all the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. The bill would also limit the legal challenges that could be brought against the pipeline.
Pipeline supporters argue that Keystone XL will help the U.S. become more energy independent and create jobs.
“Construction of the Keystone XL pipeline is long overdue. This project creates thousands of high-paying, high-skilled jobs, and puts America on a long-term path to energy independence,” said Democrats Utah Rep. Jim Matheson and Georgia Rep. John Barrow, who co-authored the bill with Terry.