Whitfield pointed to a Department of Energy memorandum which he said refutes Democrats' argument that the oil transported by Keystone would be sent to China, concluding Gulf Coast refineries will likely consume additional Canadian oil sands well in excess of what would be provided by the Keystone XL pipeline. It also concludes that exports of Canadian oil sands from Port Arthur, Texas, are unlikely. Republicans said, "To suggest the Keystone XL pipeline would be built to ship oil to China defies both common sense and economic sense. If the goal were to get Canadian oil to Asian markets, it would be far easier to build a much shorter pipeline to the west and ship the oil to China -- a project Canada is considering now that President Obama has further-delayed the pipeline's construction."
Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) said, "We have been told that the new pipeline is not designed to increase supplies here, but rather to export supplies from the Gulf to other countries, including China. But that doesn't pass the common sense test. The real risk of losing out on this energy comes from not building the pipeline. If the U.S. refuses to allow this project to move forward, then not a single drop will come through Keystone XL to refiners in the Midwest and Gulf Coast. The Canadian government would have little choice, as they have made clear, but to pursue other markets for its growing oil production, including construction of a pipeline to the Pacific coast for export to China."
Representative Lee Terry (R-NE), author of H.R.3548 said, "The Keystone XL pipeline will greatly enhance America's energy security. With this proposed pipeline our crude imports from Canada could reach 4 million barrels a day by 2020, twice what we currently import from the Persian gulf. Enhancing our energy partnership from Canada will strengthen America's energy future. Each additional drop of oil from Canada offsets a drop of OPEC oil."
In an opening statement Chairman Upton said, "Some have questioned the widely used estimates that more than 100,000 jobs would be created by the pipeline project, including 20,000 direct jobs in construction and manufacturing. Opponents derisively claim the number could be as few as 5,000 jobs. Now, I tend to believe the labor unions and TransCanada, who have actually signed Project Labor Agreements specifying how this pipeline will be built, and by how many workers. But I have to question the project's opponents, who are so quick to dismiss their low-ball estimate of 5,000 jobs -- ignoring the fact that 5,000 jobs would make Keystone XL a much better job creator than many taxpayer-funded projects funded under the stimulus package. Before Solyndra went under, it employed 1,100 people and cost taxpayers over half a billion dollars. Today, Solyndra isn't creating any jobs except for a few bankruptcy attorneys."
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