TOPEKA — U.S. Sens. Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall declared support Friday for legislation authorizing continuation of construction on the Keystone XL pipeline after President Joe Biden revoked a federal permit for a project designed to speed movement of crude oil from Canada to a key hub in Nebraska.
The Kansas Republicans joined GOP Senate colleagues from Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, North Dakota and Oklahoma to sponsor a bill allowing the pipeline expansion to move ahead. The project checked by Biden would make use of new pipe to carry oil-sands crude from Alberta, Canada over a shorter route to southeast Nebraska.
“Canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline will cost our country thousands of jobs, raise energy prices and make us more dependent on foreign countries to supply our energy,” Moran said. “At a time when our economy and communities are hurting due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we should be focusing on sending people back to work — not taking their jobs away.”
This new line would connect to existing Keystone pipe that stretches into Illinois as well as Oklahoma and Texas. Operational Keystone pipe running north-to-south through Kansas was built years ago.
Environmentalists celebrated President Barack Obama’s decision in 2015 to block the Keystone XL Pipeline. After four days in office, President Donald Trump reversed that order in 2017. On Wednesday, Biden overturned Trump on his first day as president. If the latest move were to stand, job losses would be concentrated in construction. TC Energy, a Canadian company, responded to Biden by suspending work on the line.
Marshall said Biden’s revocation of the construction permit would derail a project tied to 11,000 jobs. He said the action would eventually increase the price of gasoline at the pump and “crush our energy industry.”
“Over the years” Marshall said, “the Keystone XL pipeline has undergone extensive environmental and safety studies that have been verified, tested and approved by both the courts and independent groups.”