Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) called on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to expedite the State Department’s review of a massive and controversial oil pipeline slated to stretch from Alberta, Canada, to Texas.
The move comes as Upton has been touting his conservative credentials in an effort to win the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Republicans have criticized Upton for being too moderate on environmental issues, with one of his opponents, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), leading the “not-conservative-enough” charge.
Environmentalists and a number of lawmakers have mounted a massive campaign to oppose the pipeline project, known as Keystone XL. And they have set their sights on recent remarks by Clinton that suggest the State Department will approve the project. But it’s not just Democrats who oppose the project; at least one Republican, Sen. Mike Johanns (Neb.), opposes it because it would go through his state.
In a letter to Clinton, Upton said:
Government is currently standing in the way of this $7 billion privately funded project, which is expected to stimulate $20 billion in new spending for the U.S. economy and spur the creation of 118,000 jobs. Our number one priority must be job creation, and this is a prime example of the over-burdensome regulatory system that is killing the private sector. Government must stand back and allow the U.S. economy to rebound. If not we will continue to see our jobs go overseas.