The following is a letter from U.S. House of Representatives members Bryan Steil (R-WI1), Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI5), Glenn Grothman (R-WI6), Tom Tiffany (R-WI7) and Mike Gallagher (R-WI8) to President Joe Biden.
January 20, 2021
Dear President Biden:
We write to you today in support of the completion of the Keystone XL project. At a time when good jobs will help the nation recover from the economic downturn caused by COVID-19, the Keystone XL project will continue to be a positive step forward. Terminating this project will come at a huge cost to Wisconsinites and all Americans.
In keeping with your goals to “Build Back Better,” Keystone XL would provide an excellent opportunity for you to make good on those promises. Keystone XL has committed to complete the project using union labor, creating thousands of union jobs, including more than 7,000 American union jobs in 2021 alone. Keystone XL has also committed to investing more than $10 million to create a Green Jobs Training Fund to help train union workers for jobs on a growing number of renewable energy projects expected in the coming years and become the first pipeline to be fully powered by renewable energy.
While completing Keystone XL will mean a great deal domestically, this project will provide security to the global economy as well. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates our country’s crude oil and petroleum product gross exports have more than doubled over the past six years since the oil export ban was lifted in 2015. These exports not only benefit the U.S. economy, but ensure our allies’ energy security, regardless of the volatile political climates they may face with geographically closer trading partners.
A number of stakeholders have made a multi-billion dollar commitment towards American energy independence, which includes Keystone XL. This large-scale construction project will provide significant economic benefits to local communities and citizens most in need due to economic hardship. Keystone XL will continue to develop and administer innovative ways to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, while providing reliable energy.
For over a decade, Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle have expressed support for the Keystone XL project. As Representatives for the State of Wisconsin, we know firsthand the impact this project will have in our communities. Not only will it provide thousands of good-paying jobs for hardworking Wisconsin families, but also benefit all Wisconsinites with lower gas prices at the pump. We respectfully ask for your full consideration in the continuation of this important project and thank you for your attention to this matter.
Representatives Mike Gallagher (R-WI8), Glenn Grothman (R-WI6), Tom Tiffany (R-WI7), Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI5), and Bryan Steil (R-WI1)
Additional reaction from the congressmen regarding the cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline:
“So much for unifying the American people. In his first hours in office, President Biden has destroyed thousands of good-paying jobs, including many in Wisconsin, by halting the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. This construction project would help grow jobs in Wisconsin and support our communities. Instead of working to create family-supporting jobs, Biden is spending his first day eliminating jobs,” said Steil.
“Joe Biden ran his campaign with the promise to govern as a moderate, but he has broken that promise on the first day of his Presidency with the radical step of shutting down construction of the Keystone XL pipeline,” said Grothman. “With the stroke of his pen, he has stifled 11,000 high-paying jobs, further reduced the amount of oil imported into the U.S. and has cancelled the hope of gas prices going down at the pump. This is a sad day for working Americans and a sad day for those who believed they voted for a moderate President.”
“The Keystone pipeline would support thousands of good-paying jobs and generate billions of dollars in economy activity,” said Gallagher. “Halting construction of this project not only hurts our economy, but undermines American energy independence and drives up costs for working-class Americans. This is a step in the wrong direction and I urge the Biden Administration to reconsider.”
“President Biden’s decision to rip up the Keystone permit on the first day of his term is a rejection of bipartisanship, a slap in the face to Wisconsin employers and workers who rely on this project for their livelihoods, and our friends in Canada, particularly their indigenous community,” said Tiffany. “The president is putting American energy security and thousands of family-wage jobs at risk at a time when we can least afford it.”
“The coronavirus pandemic has devastated our economy and countless Americans have been put out of work by onerous mandated shutdowns. President Biden has an opportunity to signal that access to good-paying jobs is truly a priority for his administration, by reconsidering his decision to stop construction of the Keystone XL pipeline,” said Fitzgerald.