Assemblyman PARKER SPACE
District 24 (Morris, Sussex and Warren)
Assemblyman HAROLD "HAL" J. WIRTHS
District 24 (Morris, Sussex and Warren)
Opposes President Biden’s revocation of Presidential Permit for Keystone XL pipeline.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Assembly Resolution opposing the decision by President Biden to revoke the March 2019 Presidential Permit allowing for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Whereas, The Keystone XL pipeline is a proposed project by Canadian company TC Energy that would connect the United States oil supply to oil fields in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin in Alberta, providing oil at a rate of up to 830,000 barrels per day; and
Whereas, TC Energy was previously granted a Presidential Permit to begin construction on the cross-border segment of the Keystone XL Pipeline by President Trump on March 29, 2019, but this permit was revoked by President Biden; and
Whereas, The U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts that, although the COVID-19 pandemic has curtailed demand for petroleum over the past year, demand for petroleum will steadily rise over the next two years; and
Whereas, Once the demand for petroleum recovers, the residents of New Jersey will require a safe and reliable source of fuel to resume commuting to work, engaging in commerce, and enjoying the many recreational activities this State has to offer; and
Whereas, The United States has achieved significant levels of energy independence in recent years, with domestic production of petroleum accounting for 94 percent of domestic consumption in 2019 and net imports reaching their lowest level since 1954; and
Whereas, The United States currently maintains the tenth largest proven oil reserves worldwide, but an uptick in domestic production and net exports of oil in the United States has been depleting the country’s reserves at a higher rate; and
Whereas, As oil reserves are dwindling in several major oil producing countries, Canada currently maintains the third largest proven oil reserves according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration; and
Whereas, The United States increased its share of total petroleum imports originating from Canada to 49 percent in 2019; and
Whereas, Ninety eight percent of the oil exported by Canada in 2019 was sent to the United States; and
Whereas, Securing and fostering a mutually beneficial trade relationship with one of this country’s strongest allies and neighbors would provide the United States with higher levels of energy and geopolitical security, and cancelling the pipeline may damage American-Canadian relations; and
Whereas, The United States will require Canadian oil to help meet higher demand after the conclusion of the COVID-19 pandemic, and therefore should ensure that this oil is transported to the United States in the safest, most economical, and most environmentally-sound manner; and
Whereas, In 2019, the U.S. Department of Transportation concluded that, based on the percentage of oil spilled, transportation by pipeline is the second safest way to transport oil – second only to transportation by boat; and
Whereas, A study conducted by the Fraser Institute, a nonpartisan Canadian think tank, concluded that rail transport is four times more likely to result in an oil spill than pipeline transport; and
Whereas, In light of the remote, landlocked location of the tar sands, the only methods available to transport oil out of the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin are by rail, truck, or pipeline; and
Whereas, Hesitancy regarding the Keystone XL pipeline project and other proposed pipelines has caused Canada to expand rail operations in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, which, historically, has been a more expensive and much more dangerous way to transport petroleum; and
Whereas, At a range of $2-4 per barrel, transporting oil via pipeline is by far the least expensive way of transporting the resource; and
Whereas, On January 17, 2021, TC Energy committed to operating the Keystone XL pipeline as a carbon neutral project by pledging to invest $1.7 billion in renewable energy sources to power the operation of the pipeline; and
Whereas, The construction and operation of the Keystone XL pipeline would have resulted in the creation of up to 11,000 high-paying jobs in the United States, and the Biden Administration has not presented a plan for how these jobs will be replaced with “green jobs” if the pipeline is not constructed; and
Whereas, Based on the geopolitical, energy security, environmental, and economic benefits to be realized through the importation of Canadian oil via pipeline, it is in the United States’, and by extension the State of New Jersey’s, best interest to support the completion of the Keystone XL pipeline; now, therefore,
Be It Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. This House opposes President Biden’s decision to revoke the Presidential Permit granted to TC Energy that would have allowed the company to construct the Keystone XL pipeline.
2. This House requests that President Biden reconsider his decision to revoke TC Energy’s Presidential Permit, and to reverse course in the best interest of American energy security, economic interests, and environmental impacts.
3. If President Biden fails to reinstate the Presidential Permit granted to TC Energy for the Keystone XL pipeline, this House calls on the United States Congress to overturn the president’s decision through legislation.
4. Copies of this resolution, as filed with the Secretary of State, shall be transmitted by the Clerk of the General Assembly to the President and Vice President of the United States, the Majority and Minority Leaders of the United States Senate, the Speaker and Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives, and every member of Congress elected from this State.
This resolution expresses the Assembly’s opposition to the revocation of the Presidential Permit granted to TC Energy for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The Keystone XL Pipeline is a proposed project that would have added up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day to the United States oil supply. The resolution asks President Biden to reconsider his decision and to reverse course in the best interest of American energy security, economic interests, and environmental impacts. If President Biden fails to reinstate the Presidential Permit, this resolution then calls on the United States Congress to overturn President Biden’s decision to revoke the permit.
Based on analyses performed by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Fraser Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, the Keystone XL pipeline would likely reduce the transportation costs, incidence of oil spills, and frequency of safety incidents that are involved with the transportation of oil from the remote Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. Canada currently holds the third largest proven oil reserves worldwide. Promoting a mutually beneficial trade relationship between the U.S. and Canada by constructing the Keystone XL Pipeline is in America’s best interest with respect to energy security and economic, safety, and environmental concerns.