Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s announcement that he will direct the State Department to approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline only if it will not lead to a net increase in overall greenhouse gas emissions:

“Already declared environmentally sound by the State Department, this critical energy project has been held up by the Obama Administration for far too long.  The President and Secretary Kerry should promptly approve the Keystone XL project, which would create tens of thousands of American jobs.  The President seems to ignore the fact the Canada will develop its energy resources regardless of his decision;  the questions for the President are whether he wants these resources to go to the United States or to China and whether he wants the project to be built by American workers or not.  The answers to those questions should be easy.”

Note:  In February, Chairman Royce and other Committee Republicans wrote a letter to President Obama, urging prompt approval of the Keystone XL project writing, “Further hesitation in approving Keystone XL would not only ensure higher economic costs, but enhance the fortunes of economic rivals, as Chinese state-owned oil companies and others race to secure permanent access to North American energy sources.”