North Dakota Senator John Hoeven announced today legislation that would approve the Keystone XL pipeline and also allow the export of natural gas. Currently, with a few exceptions, it is illegal to export unrefined oil and natural gas. With American markets inundated with natural gas, producers want more access to international markets.
Specifically, Senator Hoeven’s amendment (co-sponsored by Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and John Barrasso of Wyoming) would approve the northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline project which crosses the border with Canada (the souther leg is already approved), and it would also approve exports of natural gas to Ukraine, Japan and NATO countries.
Hoeven says building Keystone, and allowing increased gas exports, would be a better way to address America’s unemployment problems than extending unemployment benefits yet again.
“As we consider an extension of Unemployment Insurance benefits, we should also be considering measures that will actually address the problem by creating jobs for the long-term unemployed,” Hoeven said in a press release.
Senator Barrasso said Democrats not on board with Keystone aren’t on board with fixing unemployment problems. “Americans have repeatedly made it clear that they want Washington to focus on growing our economy and making it easier for the private sector to create jobs,” Barrasso is quoted as saying in Hoeven’s press release. “Our amendment will help shorten unemployment lines by automatically moving forward with the job-rich Keystone XL pipeline and speeding up LNG exports. If Democrats are serious about helping unemployed Americans, they’ll hold a vote on our amendment today.”