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Rush, House Committee Chairs Release Statement on GAO Report on Keystone Pipeline Safety Concerns

August 23, 2021

WASHINGTON —Today, U.S. Representatives Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.), Chair of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Energy Subcommittee, Peter DeFazio (D-Oreg.), Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), Chair of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-N.J.), Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, released the following statement after the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report that examined the safety performance of TC Energy.

“GAO’s report validates President Biden’s decision to revoke the permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline,” the Chairs said.  “In its thorough review of the pipeline’s history and construction, GAO found that preventable construction issues contributed to the current Keystone pipeline’s spills more frequently than the industry-wide trends.  In fact, GAO found that, while corrosion was the industry’s leading cause of such accidents on crude oil pipelines, half of Keystone’s accidents were caused by material failure of the pipe or weld.  Additionally, four of the pipeline’s largest spills were caused by construction of the pipeline, manufacturing of the pipe, or original design issues.  TC Energy’s record among its peers is one of the worst in terms of volume of oil spilled per mile transported.  President Biden was clearly right to question this operator’s ability to construct a safe and resilient pipeline, and we support his decision to put Americans’ health and environment above industry interests.”

This report was requested in November 2019 by the Chairs of the Transportation and Infrastructure and Energy and Commerce Committees, which have pipeline oversight jurisdiction, following two major releases of crude oil from the Keystone pipeline in less than two years resulting in over 11,000 barrels of oil leaked.

Read the full GAO report.

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