Washington, D.C. – Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today released the following statement after voting in favor of a proposal to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

Chairman Smith: “The president is the only one standing in the way of the Keystone XL pipeline and 40,000 new energy jobs. After six long years of thorough review – including hearings held by the House Science Committee – we know that this pipeline will enhance our energy independence with minimal impact to the environment. I urge the Senate to finally bring this legislation to the floor for a vote. If the president is listening to the American people, he will quickly approve the Keystone pipeline."

The Senate is expected to pass a similar bill that could be sent to the president as early as next week. The bill would clear the way for building of the 875-mile Keystone XL pipeline.

The Science Committee’s Energy and Environment Subcommittees held a joint hearing in May 2013 to examine the safety and environmental features of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Following that hearing, Smith sent a letter urging the State Department to “rely upon sound science informed by its own extensive record and analysis, and prevent political intervention from influencing its decision."

Despite claims from those who oppose the project, the State Department has stated that the proposed pipeline would “have a degree of safety over any other typically constructed domestic oil pipeline” and concluded it would have minimal impact to resources along the proposed route. Additionally, the Department estimated that construction of the pipeline would support over 40,000 jobs. The pipeline would deliver up to 830,000 barrels per day of Canadian oil sands and Bakken crude from North Dakota to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast.