May 15, 2013

Rahall on Keystone Pipeline: "If there is no permit, it ain't legit"

Mr. Chairman, as you know, this committee has primary jurisdiction over H.R. 3 and two secondary committees of jurisdiction have already considered the bill.  So I begin by thanking you for holding this markup session.  Whether one agrees with the bill or not, you are preserving our committee’s jurisdiction rather than waiving it which occurred last Congress.

I support the Keystone Pipeline project.  I believe it will be an important element in our domestic energy infrastructure.  Last Congress, I was pleased to support, and vote for, the Keystone Pipeline bill that was considered and passed by the House in 2011, H.R. 1938.

However, I am opposed to the pending measure. 

The bill we are considering today is vastly different from H.R. 1938. That was reasonable legislation.  H.R. 3 is not. 

Instead of taking the straightforward approach H.R. 1938 did – which set a specific deadline for the President to grant or deny a permit for the Keystone Pipeline – the pending measure completely eliminates the requirement for a permit. 

The bill deems a permit application by a foreign company for a major undertaking in the United States to be approved. 

I want to see this pipeline built.  But it will not be under this proposal.  Deeming permit applications approved?  For a foreign company?  We do not even do that for domestic companies.

As a supporter of the Keystone Pipeline project, I am voting no on the pending legislation.