U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) voted with the U.S. House of Representatives to approve the final phase of construction for the Keystone XL pipeline.
“It’s past time to build,” said Denham. “As part of an all-of-the-above energy strategy, the pipeline will help us move towards North American energy independence and boost our economic growth.”
“TransCanada has agreed to measures that will make this the safest pipeline in history. Building is simple common sense.”
Denham addressed the House outlining safety procedures TransCanada has agreed to in order to ensure that the Keystone XL pipeline is the safest ever built. On the recommendation of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), 59 special conditions have been agreed to. Included are several measures to help ensure the use of high-quality steels and welds to reduce odds of a pipeline release.
Automatic shut-off valves will be included, and increase the depth of cover. The pipeline, in numerous places, will be buried a foot deeper than required by regulations. TransCanada has also agreed to provide enhanced right-of-way inspections and greater transparency in reporting to PHMSA.
The project has taken more than six years since the application reached the State Department. Many concerns were raised over potential environmental implications in the years of debate.
The State Department, in its most recent environmental impact statement, concluded that not building the pipeline imposes greater safety and environmental risks than its construction considering oil would be transported through other means if not the pipeline.
U.S. State Department estimates that the project would create 42,100 jobs and move the U.S. towards greater energy independence. It is estimated that $2 billion in construction earnings would be generated throughout the country
The State Department’s environmental impact statements on the project are available here.