Construction Industry, Unions Urge Support for House Keystone XL Approval Bill

Tue May 21, 2013 - National Edition

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Seventeen national construction associations and unions joined Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) Monday, May 20, calling on the House of Representatives to support the Northern Route Approval Act, legislation that would eliminate the need for presidential approval of the Keystone XL pipeline project.

The bill also grants the necessary environmental and right-of-way permits and puts in place an expedited judicial review process for legal challenges to the project, preventing construction from being needlessly delayed in the courts.

In the May 20 letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) organizations representing construction workers, contractors, and suppliers said, "Keystone XL offers a safe, practical way to bring more Canadian oil to U.S. refineries, thereby benefiting American consumers and workers, and improving our energy and economic security. The project serves our national interest and should be approved without delay."

According to the State Department’s draft Environmental Impact Statement, the project is expected to support more than 42,000 jobs across the country, translating to $2 billion in earnings for workers, and amounting to approximately $3.3 billion in direct expenditures such as construction and materials costs. "Additionally, many states and local governments will see the benefit of significant tax revenues as a result of the increased economic activity," the coalition stated.

"There’s a clear consensus, not just within the construction industry, but among business and labor organizations as well, that Keystone is critical to the long-term health of the U.S. economy," said AED President and CEO Toby Mack. "We hope the House overwhelmingly approves H.R. 3 so we can put Americans to work while simultaneously strengthening our North American energy security."

The letter is available at