Upton on Keystone Pipeline Delay: Obama Not ‘A Profile in Courage’

By Penny Starr | April 21, 2014 | 2:41 PM EDT

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.). (AP)

– House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred
Upton (R-Mich.) said President Barack Obama is not “a profile in
courage” because his administration has once again delayed a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline.

“Once again, in this so-called 'year of action,' the Obama
administration has hit the pause button on jobs and affordable
energy,” Upton said in a statement released last week. “All Keystone
XL requires is a simple 'yes' or 'no,' but after over 2,000 days, the
administration is still incapable of making a decision, putting
politics ahead of jobs -- not exactly a profile in courage.”

On Friday, the State Department said it would delay the decision to
allow eight federal agencies to weigh in on the pipeline, even though
it has been under consideration for more than five years.

The proposed 1,179-mile, 36-inch diameter pipeline would transport
crude oil from Canada to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast and would
pass through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and

President Barack Obama speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House, April 18, 2014. The Obama administration is extending indefinitely the amount of time federal agencies have to review the Keystone XL pipeline, the State Department said Friday, likely punting the decision over the controversial oil pipeline past the midterm elections. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

“Along with transporting crude oil from Canada, the Keystone XL
Pipeline will also support the significant growth of crude oil
production in the United States by allowing American oil producers
more access to the large refining markets found in the American
Midwest and along the U.S. Gulf Coast,” states the website of
, the corporation in charge of the project.

Upton said approving the pipeline would enhance national security and
strengthen the economy.

“By the day, international developments and unrest, from Ukraine to
Nigeria to Venezuela, are putting the spotlight on energy security and
the need for a stable North American energy supply,” Upton said. “And
rising energy prices here at home are putting a strain on household
budgets, particularly for the country’s most vulnerable.”

“Now more than ever, we are in desperate need of leadership and
conviction. Punting on this decision is not the solution America wants
or needs,” Upton said.

“We are extremely disappointed and frustrated with yet another delay.
American men and women will miss out on another construction season
where they could have worked to build Keystone XL and provided for
their families,” Russ Girling, president and CEO of TransCanada, the
corporation in charge of Keystone. “We feel for them.”

“We are also disappointed the United States will continue to rely on
regimes that are fundamentally opposed to American values for the
eight to nine million barrels of oil that is imported every day,”
Girling said. “A stable, secure supply of oil from Canada and from the
U.S. makes better sense and I am sure a majority of Americans agree.”