From the office of Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R, Illinois 11th District)…
Kinzinger, Community Leaders Stress Urgent Economic Need for Pipeline
JOLIET, IL – Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, held a press conference along with prominent industries and organizations in support of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
“As a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, I’m committed to seeing the Keystone Pipeline built here in the United States,” Kinzinger said. “This pipeline would strengthen our economy and create a more stable sound environment for job creation and oil production.
“For starters it would reduce our addiction to foreign oil and create directly and indirectly more than 100,000 manufacturing and construction jobs. In addition, we would see over 800,000 barrels of safe and secure oil each day from our friends to the North, which means we will need less oil from countries we can no longer rely on and are not friendly to the interests of the United States.
“It was disappointing to see the President’s Administration block the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline last month – particularly after his own jobs council recently called for an ‘all-in approach’ to energy policy that incorporates expanded oil and gas drilling in addition to advancing energy projects such as pipelines.”
Tom Wolf, Executive Director of the Energy Council for the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, pointed to the past decisions of the Obama Administration and State Department when they approved a similar pipeline between the U.S. and Canada in 2009. The pipeline was proposed by Enbridge and it began in Canada and travels down through North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois.
Wolf explained that there is no logical reason as to why a pipeline would be approved in 2009, but not in 2011. “It’s the same type of oil; it’s the same pipeline technology; I assume the environment is just as valuable, just as important as they are in the plain states,” said Wolf. “So why would the State Department, Secretary Clinton and the Obama Administration give a permit to a pipeline in 2009, but not 2011? What possible reason can there be? Not a logical one.”
“The Keystone extension has bipartisan support in Congress and across the country,” Kinzinger continued. “Manufacturers and union organizations alike are also supportive. And, last summer, the State Department announced this extension passed environmental reviews.”
Tom Gross, Director of Pipeline and Gas Distribution, Pipefitters Local 597, said his membership would be responsible for the construction of the Keystone Pipeline. Gross highlighted the detailed report released by the State Department on August 26, 2011 on the environmental impact of the Keystone Pipeline
“The route has been carefully prepared and rerouted to ensure that fragile aquifers will not be disturbed,” said Gross. “We’re deeply committed to preserving our air, water and natural resources for future generations. We also know pipelines have already known to be the safest as well as the most economically viable and environmentally secure way to transport oil. This project will continue the tradition of environmental integrity that the UA and our signatory contractors have demonstrated for many decades.”
“Unfortunately, this missed opportunity is yet another major example of the President placing politics before the people,” said Kinzinger. The fact is that someone will benefit from the oil out of Alberta. If it’s not the United States, it will be China – and it will be American businesses and consumers who will suffer the consequences from our inaction.”
Illinois’ 11the Congressional District is one of the most energy intensive districts in the country and is home to three nuclear power plants, hydropower plants, ethanol and biodiesel plants, and an oil refinery. The district embodies the all-of-the-above approach to energy that we must stand for. Nuclear energy production alone employs more than 2,500 people through the Illinois Valley.
Speakers at the press conference included:
- U.S. Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)
- Russ Slinkard, Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Jerry Caamano, 3 Rivers Manufacturers Association
- Tom Wolf, Illinois Chamber Energy Council
- Pat Young, International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150
- Tom Gross, Director of Pipeline and Gas Distribution, Pipefitters Local 597
- Jim Prescott, Transcanada