Rep. Susan Davis Opposes House Bill to Cut Off Environmental Review of Keystone Pipeline
Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) opposed an effort in the House to ignore environmental law over the Keystone XL Pipeline approval process.
“This bill is essentially an earmark for a Canadian oil company,” said Davis. “Keystone will have virtually no impact on job creation and an unnoticeable effect on gas prices. The project is very high on environmental risks and very low on reward, and certainly not worth ignoring our environmental laws.”
The bill exempts Keystone from all federal permitting requirements, creating a special exemption for one project from requirements that apply to every other construction project in the country.
Claims of job creation from Keystone are dubious. A report by the State Department says that only about 35 permanent jobs will be created to maintain the pipeline.
Experts agree that Keystone would have an unnoticeable impact on gas prices. The Congressional Research Service reported that increasing access to Canadian oil would not calm the unpredictable oil market, which tends to be influenced by international events.
Farmers in the Midwest have expressed concerns over the impact oil spills from the pipeline would have on an aquifer under the proposed route. The Ogallala Aquifer accounts for roughly 20% of the groundwater used in U.S. agriculture. Contamination of the aquifer would not only be environmentally damaging but have a significant economic impact.