MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2013 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Watson, McDaniel, Doty, Hill, Tindell, Sojourner, Lee, Montgomery, Smith, Wiggins, Massey, Jackson (15th), Polk, Moran, Gandy, Harkins

Senate Concurrent Resolution 543

A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION URGING THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE TO APPROVE THE TRANSCANADA KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE PRESIDENTIAL PERMIT APPLICATION.

     WHEREAS, the United States accounts for 20% of world energy consumption and is the world's largest petroleum consumer.  The U.S. consumes 18.8 million barrels of oil each day — forecasts suggest this will not change for decades.  Current imports amount to over eight million barrels each day, approximately 50% of the United States' requirements; and

     WHEREAS, even with new technology, oil discoveries, alternative fuels and conservation efforts, the U.S. will remain dependent on imported energy for decades to come.  A secure supply of crude oil is not only needed for Americans to continue to heat their homes, cook their food and drive their vehicles, but to allow the U.S. economy to thrive and grow free from the potential threats and disruptions of crude oil supply from less secure parts of the world; and

     WHEREAS, the growing production of conflict-free oil from Canada's oil sands and the Bakken formation in Saskatchewan, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota can replace crude imported from countries that do not share American values, additional pipeline capacity to refineries in the U.S. Midwest and Gulf Coast is required; and

     WHEREAS, increasing energy imports from Canada makes sense for the United States.  Canada is a trusted neighbor with a stable democratic government, strong environmental standards equal to that of the U.S., and some of the most stringent human rights and worker protection legislation in the world; and

     WHEREAS, improvements in production technology continue to reduce the carbon footprint of Canadian oil sands development.  Oil sands production accounts for 6.5% of Canada's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 0.1% (1/1000th) of global GHG emissions.  Total emissions from Canada's oil sands sector was 45 megatons in 2009, equivalent to 3.5% of emissions from U.S. coal-fired power generation in the same year.  Oil sands crude has similar C02 emissions to other heavy oils and is 6% more carbon-intensive than the U.S. crude supply average on a wells-to-wheels basis; and

     WHEREAS, the 58 refineries in the Gulf Coast region provide a total refining capacity of approximately 8.4 million bpd, or nearly half of U.S. refining capacity.  In 2009, these refineries imported approximately 5 million bpd of crude oil from more than 40 countries, with the top four suppliers being Mexico (21%), Venezuela (17%), Saudi Arabia (12%) and Nigeria (11%).  Imports from Mexico and Venezuela are declining as production from those countries decreases and supply contracts expire.  Once completed, TransCanada's Keystone XL and Gulf Coast Expansion projects could displace roughly 40% of the oil the U.S. currently imports from the Middle East and Venezuela; and

     WHEREAS, the KXL pipeline project, which has been subject to the most thorough public consultation process of any proposed U.S. pipeline, and the subject of multiple environmental impact statements and several U.S. Department of State studies, have concluded that it poses the least impact to the environment and is much safer than other modes of transporting crude oil; and

     WHEREAS, pipelines are the safest method for the transportation of petroleum products when compared to other methods of transportation.  Pipelines are 40 times safer than moving crude oil by rail and 100 times safer than transporting by truck.  Keystone XL will replace the equivalent of a tanker train 25 miles long, or 200 ocean tankers per year.  This will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 19 million tons, or the equivalent of taking almost 4 million cars off the road; and

     WHEREAS, the Keystone XL project will support over 10,000 jobs in the U.S. — construction and manufacturing — representing work for pipefitters, welders, electricians, heavy equipment operators and other sectors in virtually every state in the U.S. 75% of the pipe used to build Keystone XL in the U.S. will come from North American mills, including half being made by U.S. workers.  Goods for the pipeline valued at approximately $800 Million have already been sourced from U.S. manufacturers:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby urge the Department of State to approve the Presidential Permit application allowing the construction and operation of the TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline between the United States and Canada; to strengthen U.S. energy security; to provide for critical pipeline infrastructure to achieve North American energy independence; and to stimulate the economy and create jobs.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States, the United States Secretary of State, members of the Mississippi congressional delegation and the Governor, and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.