The #TimeToBuild crowd is getting louder and louder. The House has now joined the Senate, saying in one clear congressional voice, that the Keystone XL pipeline should finally be built. Democrats, Republicans and the majority of American people see benefits that would come with building this critical energy infrastructure project. The question is, when will President Obama join them?
The president has all the facts he needs to say yes.
No tax payer dollars will be spent building KXL. Constructing the pipeline will support 42,000 jobs, and the State Department after five comprehensive reviews has concluded Keystone XL will have “no significant impact” on the environment.
A bipartisan KXL bill will soon arrive on the president’s desk, and he has indicated he has no intention to sign it. After more than six years the delay tactics are frustrating, even to many in his own party. Sen. Joe Manchin, the Democrat from West Virginia, says Obama needs to look at the facts:
“It’s just a shame. It’s really truly a shame. … Look at the jobs it creates. Look at the security it gives our nation … We’re buying oil from Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. We’re buying oil from Russia every day. This would diminish this and then we buy from the friendliest nation we have, Canada.” – Fox News
The effort by Democrats and Republicans to come together on this issue should not be lost or dismissed by a veto. This bipartisan bill could represent a new way forward in Washington. A CNN.com editorial said the Keystone debate is a sign of progress:
“The Senate’s ability to conduct this productive process while considering a hotly contested and highly partisan issue is an early sign that both Republicans and Democrats are up to the challenge.
Energy policy is often a topic that can generate bipartisan support, and this early legislative activity is promising, even if the debate was partisan and at times even harsh. More fundamentally, that the full Senate spent long hours together in the chamber is a breakthrough. The process may be laborious, but it’s the essence of our democracy.”
In a democracy, the people’s voice should be heard. The American people and Congress have spoken loud and clear on KXL. Let’s hope the president will finally tune into what they are saying – let’s build it.