Congressman Bobby Rush

Representing the 1st District of Illinois

Rush Speaks in Opposition to Keystone in the Surface Transportation Bill

May 17, 2012
Press Release

CONTACT: Renee Ferguson
(773) 224-6500 ofc.; (202) 674-0891 mobile

WASHINGTON — Congressman Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) spoke in opposition to the motion to instruct conferees on H.R. 4348, the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, Part II.  The motion to instruct conferees would mandate the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, a position that endangers the passage of the entire bill.  Rush made the following statement from the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives:

I want to thank the ranking member of the full committee for recognizing me.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this motion to instruct.  A mandatory approval of the Keystone XL pipeline does not belong in our transportation bill.  This provision jeopardizes the entire transportation bill and all of the American jobs that the transportation bill will provide and produce.

The southern portion of the Keystone XL pipeline from Oklahoma to the gulf is already moving forward with the President's support, but the northern portion does not yet have a final route through the State of Nebraska.  President Obama has made it clear that he will not short-circuit the normal approval process and deprive the American people of their opportunity and their right to have input just to benefit a foreign company and foreign interests.

As it stands now, it is very unclear if this project would benefit the hard-pressed communities of this Nation, such as the one that I represent, with jobs and contracts and other economic opportunities that we have been hearing so much about and that has been bandied about by the proponents of this pipeline.  We desperately need jobs and contracts and economic opportunity, but we have no guarantees that this XL pipeline will produce the same.

So, regardless of whether you believe this pipeline should be built or not, including the Keystone XL pipeline approval — mandatory approval, I might add — in the transportation bill, which the President already promised he will veto, it may not necessarily further the pipeline, but it may doom the same.  It may doom the entire transportation bill.

If you care about American jobs, then the number one priority should be to pass the transportation bill all by itself.  Pass the transportation bill to create and preserve American jobs for the American people.  Don't burden the jobs-producing transportation bill with extraneous gimmicks and extraneous gestures.  The passage of this motion to instruct conferees will be a stumbling stone for Keystone.