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Congressman Jason Smith

Representing the 8th District of Missouri

Under Construction: Jobs & Energy Independence

Mar 24, 2017
Weekly Capitol Report

The number one responsibility of your government is to keep you and your loved ones safe. Energy security – knowing we can put gas in our cars and heat our homes – is a major part of that safety and security.  But for too long, the government has been dependent on Middle Eastern countries supplying us with oil, sitting back and waiting for them to provide our energy resources – leaving us with a hefty price tag.
 
This week, President Trump took major action to move forward with the Keystone XL pipeline project. A project which will make us less reliant on countries who don’t have our best interests at heart and will secure our energy independence while adding jobs and growing the economy.
 
The request to begin construction on the Keystone XL pipeline was first submitted to President Obama in 2008. But Barack Obama spent all eight years of his presidency prioritizing and championing the radical environmental cause.  Even after Obama’s State Department determined the pipeline project would not contribute to climate change, Obama put politics ahead of the American people and refused to approve the pipeline.
 
From eight years of obstruction to eight weeks of action, President Trump has worked quickly to move the Keystone XL pipeline project forward. During his first week in office, President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum to clear roadblocks and speed up the approval process for the pipeline. And this week, he signed the final permit to approve construction of the pipeline.
 
The construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline will lower energy costs for Missouri families and infuse our country’s economy with the kind of infrastructure investment that creates and supports jobs.
 
This pipeline is an $8 billion investment that will create more than 42,000 construction jobs. The project will use American steel and direct roughly $3.4 billion into the pockets of hardworking Americans who desperately need it. These dollars will go to cash-strapped communities in rural America, supporting local grocery stores, local car dealerships, local restaurants, local housing markets - the list goes on and on.
 
I have been pushing for construction of the pipeline since joining Congress forty months ago. In 2015, I voted for the Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act. This bill had bipartisan support from over 300 members of Congress, would have put thousands of Americans back to work and reduced the burden of high energy costs. This legislation advanced through both Chambers of Congress and made it all the way to President Obama’s desk, only to be ignored.
 
The Keystone XL Pipeline will carry nearly 800,000 barrels of North American oil per day. It makes zero sense to rely on foreign countries for our energy when we have access to a wealth of energy resources right here in America.
 
Between lower gas prices and less money on your energy bills, Missourians are set to benefit from the Keystone XL pipeline project. Calling this a “new era for American energy,” President Trump promised his administration would follow through with more infrastructure projects that put a paycheck directly in the hands of hardworking Americans. I am glad President Trump approved construction of the pipeline, and am thankful to see our government prioritizing the nation's security -  finally making it possible to stop relying on Middle Eastern nations to meet America’s energy needs.

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