WASHINGTON--U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., joined a bipartisan group of her colleagues on the Senate floor this afternoon to discuss the importance of approving and building the Keystone XL pipeline. During the colloquy, Sen. Landrieu emphasized the economic, energy and geopolitical benefits for the United States. Construction of the pipeline is estimated to create 9,000 construction jobs and bring more than $5.3 billion in investment to the United States.
Sens. John Hoeven, R-N.D.; Joe Manchin, D-W.V.; John Cornyn, R-Texas; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; Mark Begich, D-Alaska; John Barrasso, R-Wy.; and John Boozman, R-Ark., joined in the colloquy.
"I cannot emphasize enough the importance of this pipeline and how it will help us build a reliable, steady stream of oil and gas--not to mention the jobs it creates. It will give us oil from one of our most dependable and friendliest allies, Canada, as opposed to forcing us to do business with countries that do not share our values," Sen. Landrieu said on the Senate floor.
Earlier this week on Feb. 12, Sen. Landrieu spoke at length with Canada's minister of natural resources, Joe Oliver, about the pipeline. During their conversation, Minister Oliver noted that Canada will produce this energy resource whether or not the Keystone Pipeline is built, a point Sen. Landrieu emphasized on the Senate floor:
"One of the reasons that I, along with many of my colleagues, have been urging President Obama to rethink his position on this pipeline now is that Canada is going to produce this oil one way or another. The question is: Who are they going to send it to? Are they going to send it to their good friend, the United States, to our refineries in Texas and Louisiana? Or are they going to ship it somewhere else in the world?" Sen. Landrieu said.
"The people of Louisiana strongly support the development of this pipeline. We are proud of the oil and gas industry, and we want to do our part."
Last month, Sen. Landrieu and a group of 53 bipartisan senators sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. A longtime proponent of the pipeline, Sen. Landrieu urged then-Sec. of State Hillary Clinton almost two years ago to sign off on the pipeline. Read Sen. Landrieu's letter to Sec. Clinton.