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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and 10 of his Senate Republican colleagues today introduced the Defending Keystone Jobs Act, which would require the Department of Labor to submit a report to Congress on the number of jobs lost as a direct or indirect result of the Biden administration’s move to cancel construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Cancelation of Keystone construction stands in contrast with the Biden administration’s decision to waive sanctions on the company constructing Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. 

Risch introduced the Defending Keystone Jobs Act with U.S. Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), and Bill Cassidy (R-La.).

“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,” said Senator Risch. “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?”

“On his first day in office, President Biden killed thousands of American jobs--in the middle of a global pandemic--by cancelling construction of the privately-funded Keystone XL Pipeline. Shortly after, he waived sanctions against the Russia-backed Nord Stream 2 project. These actions prop up our foreign adversaries while weakening America’s energy independence and causing further harm to American workers, families and taxpayers. The Department of Labor should deliver a thorough estimate of the number of American jobs killed by such reckless decisions,” said Senator Crapo.

“President Biden is standing with Russian workers over Montana and American workers. Biden turned his back on America when he canceled the Keystone XL pipeline and the thousands of jobs that come with it while harming our national security by allowing the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline to proceed. We need to reverse this terrible decision and put American workers back into focus and back to work,” said Senator Daines.

“The president's decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline is a slap in the face to the American workers whose good-paying jobs vanished on Inauguration Day,” said Senator Barrasso. “The Keystone XL pipeline would link the U.S. with a reliable ally and trading partner and would be built using American workers. It’s a win-win for our energy and national security. Instead, President Biden is more intent on saving Russian jobs than American jobs. Our bill will shed light on the American jobs President Biden destroyed.”

 “I’m proud to join Senator Risch on this legislation. Over the past decade, the United States has become a global leader in energy production while cutting our carbon emissions. President Biden is eroding this success by attacking American energy independence at every turn. We should know the true cost of President Biden’s political move to halt construction of the Keystone XL pipeline,” said Senator Lummis. 

“Canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline has cost our country thousands of good-paying jobs and made us more dependent on foreign countries to supply our domestic energy needs,” said Senator Moran. “The Biden Administration must reverse this policy, especially in light of its decision to waive sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline, and reprioritize the needs of American workers and energy consumers.”

“The Biden Administration chose to fire American workers through government decree and surrender our country’s energy independence instead of taking steps to grow our economy,” said Senator Marshall. “The least they can do is provide the American people with the truth in regard to how many people were left unemployed by the shameless political theater of cancelling the Keystone Pipeline.”

“The Biden administration’s actions to waive sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 Pipeline while halting construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, will cost thousands of jobs, harm our national security and make us less energy independent,” said Senator Hoeven. “This is simply the wrong approach, and instead, we should work to expand North American energy infrastructure, which is vital to U.S. economic and national security.”

“President Biden campaigned on supporting middle-class union jobs, yet on day one he chose to cancel American workers’ livelihoods and the revenue state and local communities would receive from the Keystone XL pipeline,” said Senator Cramer. “Our bill would require the Administration to acknowledge the damage it has caused, even as the President allows Russia to build a less environmentally friendly pipeline of its own.” 

“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,” said Senator Cotton. “Our bill will hold President Biden accountable for his blatant disregard for hard-working Americans.”

“President Biden’s decision to kill the Keystone XL Pipeline put politics over Americans’ livelihoods,” said Dr. Cassidy. “We need to take a serious look at how many Americans are now out of work because of the president’s harmful decision, and this bill does that.”


On his first day in office, President Biden issued an executive order revoking the permit for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The Keystone pipeline project was expected to provide some 11,000 direct high-paying jobs and up to 60,000 indirect and direct jobs and strengthen North American energy independence. Meanwhile, the Biden administration has waived sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Senator Risch serves as the ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and has been a leading voice in the U.S. Senate to halt construction of the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline. If completed, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline would further enable Russia’s malign influence campaign and undermine the integrity of Europe’s energy sector. 

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