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Rep. Foster Votes Against Special Exemption For Keystone XL

May 23, 2013
Press Release

Washington, DC—Today, Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) released the following statement on his vote against H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act:

“I am not opposed, in principle, to the building of the Keystone XL pipeline, and I look forward to the completion of the ordinary process that President Obama is likely to approve.  However, I voted against this legislation because it is a bad deal for the American taxpayer, and for U.S. businesses and ignores important environmental permitting processes.

“This legislation would force the United States to bear all of the environmental impact of the pipeline while seeing few of the economic benefits.  This legislation carves out special exemptions that would allow a Canadian company to cross the entire United States without complying with the environmental laws that U.S. energy companies abide by, without guaranteeing that any of the oil pumped through the Keystone pipeline would stay in the U.S., and without providing significant tax revenue for the American people. 

“The White House is taking a responsible approach to approving the Keystone pipeline and is on track to meet all of the regulatory obligations, Congress needs to allow the administration to complete the necessary reviews which ensure essential protections are in place.” 

The EPA has raised a number of valid concerns about H.R. 3 which highlight the need for the project to go through the regular review process, including the fact that the nature of the oil being transported makes spills much more serious.  This necessitates choosing routes that minimize water crossings.  Additionally, this legislation does not mandate any contributions to the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, leaving U.S. taxpayers to bear the full cost of the cleanup in the event of an accident.  So not only would spills be more serious and difficult to clean up, but taxpayers would be forced to foot the entire bill.