Representative Charlie Dent (PA-15) cheered the passage of HR 5682, a bill that authorizes the construction, operation and maintenance of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The bill passed with bipartisan support (252-161-1).

“It was important for the Congress to pass this bill,” said Dent. “It’s a sign that we’re listening to the American workers who are demanding that this necessary infrastructure project not be held hostage any further by politics. Six years of delay and indecision by the Administration on this issue is more than enough.”

The pipeline has passed numerous reviews and environmental evaluations, but the Obama Administration has held up issuing the required Presidential permit. The bill deems the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement issued by the Secretary of State in January of 2014 sufficient to satisfy all the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and any other federal law that requires federal agency consultation or review.  The State Department’s own study showed that completion of the pipeline would have only a minimal impact on carbon emissions.

Public support for construction of the pipeline remains strong.  Support is also broad, bringing together both Business and Labor. The Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the Laborers’ International Union of America, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers all support its construction.

“Hopefully, Senator Reid and President Obama have received the voters’ message that they want action on sensible bipartisan legislation such as this bill.  The Senate should immediately take up and pass it and the President should then sign it,” stated Representative Dent.

Estimates for the number of jobs directly involved with the construction of the pipeline and in ancillary industries run as high as 40,000.