The Arkansas Legislature’s Joint Energy Committee passed a resolution yesterday which supports moving forward on building the Keystone Pipeline, which would allow oil to be transported via pipeline from Canada to refineries in Texas. The resolution was sponsored by Sen. Jonathan Dismang, R-Searcy and it echoes the statements made by Congressman Tim Griffin earlier this week criticizing President Obama for delaying the pipeline project.
“When you balance the reasons to approve the pipeline and weigh them against the reasons for holding it up, there is a very strong case for going ahead with the project without any unnecessary delays,” said Dismang in a release on Friday.
“The builders of the pipeline have agreed to route it away from the most environmentally critical areas and it would make the United States less dependent on foreign oil,” Dismang said. “A huge factor in favor of the Keystone project is that it would create 20,000 jobs and many of those jobs would be in central Arkansas.”
About 65 percent of the pipeline would be constructed by Welspun Tubular of Little Rock, which employees 600 people and has an annual payroll of $30 million.
“I would like to thank Senator Dismang and the Joint Committee on Energy for passing the interim resolution urging the President of the United States to expedite the review and approval of the new route for the Keystone XL Pipeline,” said David Delie, the president of Welspun Tubular.
Observers at the committee meeting tell me it passed on a voice vote so there was no roll call, but it appeared to be mainly a party-line vote with mostly Republicans voting for the resolution and Democrats voting against it.
Here is the resolution…
INTERIM RESOLUTION 2011-006
REQUESTING THAT THE INTERIM JOINT COMMITTEE ON ENERGY URGE THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO EXPEDITE THE REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF THE NEW ROUTE FOR THE KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE.
WHEREAS, TransCanada wants to build the Keystone XL pipeline to carry crude oil from Alberta to refineries in Texas; and
WHEREAS, TransCanada is willing to change the route of the Keystone XL pipeline to avoid certain areas of environmental concern; and
WHEREAS, President Obama’s administration has announced that it will delay its decision on the Keystone XL pipeline until 2013; and
WHEREAS, the Keystone XL pipeline is critical to the creation of United States jobs and to our nation’s economic, energy, and national security; and
WHEREAS, President Obama’s administration failed to recognize that its recent decision delayed the creation of 20,000 manufacturing and construction jobs and continued significant dependence on politically unstable countries for our energy needs; and
WHEREAS, the delay was unnecessary because the United States Department of State has already been analyzing the Keystone XL pipeline for nearly three (3) years; and
WHEREAS, Arkansas has a particular interest in this project because sixty-five percent (65%) of the Keystone XL pipeline will be produced by approximately six hundred (600) employees at Welspun Tubular in Little Rock, Arkansas,
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE INTERIM JOINT COMMITTEE ON ENERGY OF THE EIGHTY-EIGHTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ARKANSAS:
THAT the Interim 1 Joint Committee on Energy urges the President of the United States to expedite the review and approval of the new route and the Keystone XL pipeline to create 20,000 new jobs and to secure America’s economic, energy, and national security.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that upon adoption of this resolution, a copy of this resolution shall be transmitted to the President of the United States of America and the Secretary of State of the United States.
Senator Jonathan Dismang