Republican senators led by Sen. Jim Risch, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, are demanding the Biden administration account for the number of jobs killed by the Keystone XL Pipeline cancellation through legislation introduced on Wednesday.
"The Keystone XL pipeline would have strengthened U.S. energy independence while supporting thousands of high-paying jobs in the U.S. and Canada. It’s hard to square why the administration canceled its construction, yet waived sanctions on Russia’s malign pipeline project," Risch, R-Idaho, said in a statement. "Reinstating the Keystone project to invest in U.S. energy security and job creation is just common sense. Why is it bad for the U.S. to have access to natural gas, but it’s OK for Russia?"
Republican senators Mike Crapo of Idaho, Steve Daines of Montana, John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall of Kansas, John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana are cosponsors of Risch's Defending Keystone Jobs Act.
"President Biden killed the Keystone XL Pipeline in the name of ‘clean energy,’ but waived sanctions in order to allow the construction of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline. His decisions killed American jobs and put the security of our European allies at risk," Cotton said in a statement. "Our bill will hold President Biden accountable for his blatant disregard for hard-working Americans."
Risch's bill would require the secretary of Labor to report to Congress the number of jobs projected to be lost, directly and indirectly, due to the Keystone XL pipeline cancellation within 90 days of it becoming law.
On his first day in office, President Biden signed an executive order to halt the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which was meant to transport Canadian crude oil to the U.S., citing the climate change.
"The Keystone XL pipeline disserves the U.S. national interest. The United States and the world face a climate crisis. That crisis must be met with action on a scale and at a speed commensurate with the need to avoid setting the world on a dangerous, potentially catastrophic, climate trajectory," Biden's Jan. 20 executive order stated.
According to the Keystone XL website, the project, which was initially proposed more than a decade ago, would have sustained about 11,000 U.S. jobs in 2021 – including 8,000 union jobs – and generated $1.6 billion in gross wages.
FOX Business' Audrey Conklin and Fox News' Teny Sahakian and Houston Keene contributed to this report.