By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Friday, January 10, Congresswoman Terri Sewell (R-Selma) and Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) both voted for H.R. 3, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, to approve the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Representative Sewell said in a written statement, “After much deliberation, I voted in favor of constructing the Keystone XL Pipeline to strengthen our economy and create more jobs in Alabama and across this nation. Keystone XL will create thousands of construction jobs for welders, pipe fitters, and electricians during the pipeline’s construction and after its completion. As our economy continues to recover, I am confident that the hardworking men and women in Alabama’s 7th Congressional District and their families will enthusiastically welcome these skilled and well-paying construction and manufacturing jobs.”
Congressman Brooks stated, “The benefits to America of the Keystone XL pipeline are profound. First, and foremost, oil imported from Canada via the Keystone pipeline is a much more strategically defensible and reliable energy source than is oil transported long distances via insecure shipping lanes from the always-volatile Middle East. The Keystone pipeline decreases America’s reliance on Middle Eastern oil and that is a good thing for all of us. Second, if the Keystone pipeline is not approved, Canada will sell its oil to America’s #1 economic competitor: China. America should take advantage of our friendly and long-time ally Canada’s generosity in a ‘win-win’ relationship. It is folly to spurn our ally while, at the same time, giving China yet another economic advantage over America’s economy and American jobs. Third, according to President Obama’s State Department, Keystone pipeline construction creates more than 42,000 badly needed, high-paying jobs across the United States and creates 117,000 new, permanent American energy production jobs once construction is completed. Fourth, Canadian oil shipped via the Keystone pipeline increases the world’s supply of oil which, in turn, forces gasoline prices down. As America’s recent economic expansion has proven, lower energy and gasoline prices are a good thing for the American economy and all Americans.”
Rep. Sewell, the only Democrat in the Alabama Congressional Delegation, wrote, “My vote for Keystone does not, in any way, undermine my commitment to protecting our environment, but rather affirms my belief that a responsible, all of the above energy strategy is the best approach to achieving true energy independence while spurring critical job creation. I will continue my support for strategic investments in renewable and green energy, as well promote increased oil production right here in North America.”
Representative Brooks continued, “Despite broad bipartisan support in the House, and expected broad bipartisan support in the Senate, President Obama threatens a veto of the Keystone pipeline. I hope President Obama will reconsider a political position that placates fringe radical environmentalists and, instead, yield to the economic interests of America and the American people. The Obama Administration’s own scientific evidence proves the Keystone pipeline is safe for the environment. The Administration’s State Department has found the Keystone pipeline to have negligible environmental impact while generating $3.4 billion in annual economic activity and $55.6 million in annual and badly needed local property taxes.”
Congresswoman Sewell said, “I am proud to stand with numerous groups, nationally and in Alabama, that support the Keystone XL Pipeline, including: US Steel – Fairfield Works and Fairfield Tubular Operations, Vulcan Materials Company, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the North America Building Trades Unions, the National Electrical Contractors Association, and the American Road and Transportation Builders Association.”
US Representative Brooks said, “I pray President Obama will heed American voters and join Congress in a bipartisan effort to make America’s future a better one. President Obama can do that by approving the Keystone pipeline.”
According to the Department of Energy, the pipeline can deliver 830,000 barrels of oil a day to US refineries, growing the economy and creating American oil refinery jobs.
The Keystone XL Pipeline Act passed the House 266 to 153 with bipartisan support.
Congresswoman Terri Sewell represents Alabama’s 7th Congressional District.
Congressman Mo Brooks represents Alabama’s 5th Congressional District.