Dear Mr. President:
September 19, 2014, marks the sixth anniversary of the filing of an application for approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, and you have still not made a decision. America and our closest friend and ally Canada deserve better. The American people and Canada deserve a decision.
TransCanada first applied for a Presidential Permit on September 19, 2008. Since then, the U.S. Department of State has reviewed hundreds of thousands of comments and completed five environmental impact statements, all of which have found the pipeline will have no significant impact on the environment. In 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the State Department would make a decision on the pipeline by the end of that year. You yourself told our conference in March of last year that you would make a decision before the end of 2013. Mr. President, it is long past time to make a decision.
The federal process is complete and has been complete for a long time. The states should have the primary role of determining the proper legal and regulatory procedures for siting the pipeline within their respective borders. The federal government should move forward with its determination.
Our economy needs certainty to grow and to create jobs. The uncertainty created by failing to make a decision has a chilling effect on other investment and infrastructure development in our country and holds back our economy. The defeat-by-delay approach not only hurts this project, but also discourages other investment throughout our country, costing our country jobs.
The Keystone XL pipeline is shovel-ready and, according to the State Department, creates more than 42,000 jobs. It is privately funded and would help us strengthen America's energy security.
Mr. President, six years is too long. We urge you to approve the Keystone XL pipeline immediately.