Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, says Russia’s invasion of Crimea in Ukraine is another reason the Obama administration should approve the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
Stutzman and the six other House Republicans from Indiana have sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging completion of the pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico after a State Department evaluation period that has lasted nearly 2,000 days.
“In light of this project’s impact on energy security, job creation, and environmental protections, the Keystone XL Pipeline is undeniably in the national interest to complete,” the Hoosier representatives wrote.
Environmental groups have opposed the planned pipeline, in part because of the potential for oil leaks in the Plains States it would traverse. But the Indiana Republicans wrote that “pipelines are by far the safest mode of transportation for crude oil and natural gas.”
Parts of the Keystone pipeline are operating. A segment that would stretch across Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska remains under consideration by federal officials.
Separately, Stutzman released a statement saying pipeline approval is among steps the White House could take to “respond to Russian aggression in Ukraine.”
“Russia’s vast energy resources have allowed (Russian President) Vladimir Putin to exploit the West’s energy insecurity and tighten his grip on neighboring countries,” Stutzman said.
Stutzman contended that the pipeline and expanded U.S. energy production would reduce fuel prices, weakening Russia’s position. Pipeline opponents argue that most of the oil transported by the pipeline will be sold abroad at prices that fluctuate according to fuel demands in China and India.