House Report 113-61, Part 2 - 113th Congress (2013-2014)
May 17, 2013, As Reported by the Natural Resources Committee

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House Report 113-61 - NORTHERN ROUTE APPROVAL ACT




[House Report 113-61]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


113th Congress                                           Report
                 }    HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES  {  
 1st Session     }                              {        113-61  Part 2
======================================================================
 
                      NORTHERN ROUTE APPROVAL ACT

                                _______
                                

  May 17, 2013.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Hastings of Washington, from the Committee on Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                         [To accompany H.R. 3]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 3) to approve the construction, operation, and 
maintenance of the Keystone XL pipeline, and for other 
purposes, having considered the same, report favorably thereon 
without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 3 is to approve the construction, 
operation, and maintenance of the Keystone XL pipeline.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    On September 19, 2008, Canada-based TransCanada Corporation 
submitted an application with the U.S. Department of State for 
a Presidential Permit for its Keystone XL pipeline project to 
cross the U.S. Canada border and run to the Gulf of Mexico.
    When complete, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates this 
project will transport up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day 
from the oil sands area of Alberta, Canada. It will also accept 
U.S. crude from the Bakken area of North Dakota. This amount 
represents nearly half of what the U.S. currently imports from 
the Middle East.
    The Department of State draft supplemental Environmental 
Impact Statement (EIS) (March 1, 2013) estimates the project 
would create approximately 42,100 direct and indirect jobs over 
the construction period, with 3,900 jobs directly involved with 
project construction.
    H.R. 3 will ensure the Keystone pipeline project moves 
forward by removing the requirement for a Presidential Permit 
and deeming the final EIS from August 2011 to satisfy all NEPA 
and National Historic Preservation Act requirements. It deems 
an incidental take permit to have been issued for the American 
burying beetle and deems a permit under the Migratory Bird 
Treaty Act to have been issued. It further deems a right-of-way 
and temporary use permit to have been issued by the Bureau of 
Land Management for affected public lands. It further gives 
exclusive judicial review jurisdiction to the District of 
Columbia Circuit Court and sets a 60 day timeline to issue 
challenges. H.R. 3 will ensure that the pipeline is built, 
enhance America's energy security and create tens of thousands 
of jobs. Congress should move quickly to pass this legislation.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 3 was introduced on March 15, 2013, by Congressman Lee 
Terry (R-NE). The bill was referred primarily to the Committee 
on Transportation and Infrastructure, and in addition to the 
Committees on Energy and Commerce and Natural Resources. Within 
the Committee on Natural Resources, the bill was referred to 
the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. On April 16, 
2013, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a 
hearing on the bill. On April 24, 2013, the Full Natural 
Resources Committee met to consider the bill. The Subcommittee 
on Energy and Mineral Resources was discharged by unanimous 
consent. Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI) offered an 
amendment designated .005 to the bill. The amendment was not 
adopted by a bipartisan roll call vote of 15 to 21, as follows:
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    Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH) offered an amendment 
designated .001 to the bill. The amendment was not adopted by a 
bipartisan roll call vote of 17 to 23, as follows:
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    Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH) offered an amendment 
designated .004 to the bill. The amendment was not adopted by a 
bipartisan roll call vote of 17 to 24, as follows:
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    Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ) offered an amendment 
designated .002 to the bill. The amendment was not adopted by a 
roll call vote of 18 to 23, as follows:
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    Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ) offered an amendment 
designated .003 to the bill. The amendment was not adopted by a 
bipartisan roll call vote of 16 to 25, as follows:
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    No further amendments were offered and the bill was then 
adopted and ordered favorably reported to the House of 
Representatives by a bipartisan roll call vote of 24 to 17, as 
follows:
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                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title

    This section provides the short title for the legislation, 
the ``Northern Route Approval Act.''

Section 2. Findings

    This section offers seven separate Congressional findings 
regarding the need for energy infrastructure, the national 
security benefits of Canadian oil imports, the employment and 
economic benefits from the Keystone XL pipeline, the review and 
approval by the State of Nebraska of the Keystone XL pipeline, 
the length and breadth of the Federal review process, the 
safety and environmental benefits of transporting oil via 
pipeline, and the resemblance to the action that was needed to 
approve the Trans-Alaska Pipeline in 1973.

Section 3. Keystone XL permit approval

    Section 3 removes the requirement for a Presidential Permit 
for the Keystone XL pipeline described in the application filed 
by TransCanada on May 4, 2012, and that was amended to include 
the new route approved by the Nebraska Governor. It deems the 
final EIS issued on August 26, 2011, and the Final Evaluation 
Report issued by the State of Nebraska to satisfy all 
requirements of NEPA and the National Historic Preservation 
Act.

Section 4. Judicial review

    This section vests, except for review by the Supreme Court, 
the U.S. Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia Circuit 
with sole jurisdiction over specifically listed legal 
challenges regarding the Keystone XL pipeline. These are 
limited to the review of any final decisions by Federal 
agencies regarding the project, questions of Constitutionality, 
and the adequacy of any analysis. Any claims must be brought 
within 60 days of a decision giving rise to a claim. Any action 
brought under this section shall receive expedited 
consideration.

Section 5. American burying beetle

    Section 5 deems an incidental take permit to have been 
issued under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act for the 
American burying beetle for the construction, operation and 
maintenance of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Section 6. Right-of-Way and temporary use permit

    This section deems a right-of-way and temporary use permit 
to have been issued according to terms set forth in an 
application filed with the Bureau of Land Management under 
section 28 of the Mineral Leasing Act and the Federal Land 
Policy and Management Act.

Section 7. Permits for activities in navigable waters

    Section 7 states that no later than 90 days after an 
application is filed, the Secretary of the Army shall issue all 
permits necessary for the construction, operation and 
maintenance of the Keystone XL pipeline under section 404 of 
the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and section 10 of the 
Rivers and Harbors Appropriations Act of 1899. The application 
shall be based on the administrative record which shall be 
considered complete. The Secretary is given the authority to 
waive any procedural requirements and if the Secretary has not 
issued the permits in 90 days then the permits are deemed to 
have been issued. The Administrator of the Environmental 
Protection Agency may not prohibit or restrict any activities 
in this section.

Section 8. Migratory Bird Treaty Act permit

    This section deems a special purpose permit under the 
Migratory Bird Treaty described in an application filed with 
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to have been issued.

            COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(2)(B) 
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974. Under clause 3(c)(3) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has 
received the following cost estimate for this bill from the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

H.R. 3--Northern Route Approval Act

    H.R. 3 would specify various procedures pertaining to 
federal review and permitting of the proposed Keystone XL 
pipeline, which would be constructed by a private company to 
carry crude oil from Alberta, Canada, to destinations on the 
U.S. Gulf Coast. In particular, the bill would exempt the 
proposed project, which would cross international borders, from 
the existing requirement to obtain a Presidential permit. In 
addition, H.R. 3 would deem various actions by federal agencies 
involved with permitting decisions related to the proposed 
pipeline to be satisfied and certain federal permits to be 
granted.
    CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 3 would have no 
significant impact on the federal budget. Based on information 
from affected agencies, CBO estimates that the proposed changes 
to administrative procedures would not significantly affect 
federal spending for such activities relative to current law. 
The bill would not affect direct spending or revenues; 
therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    H.R. 3 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    On May 1, 2013, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 3 
as ordered reported by the House Committee on Energy and 
Commerce on April 17, 2013. The two versions of the legislation 
are identical, and the CBO cost estimates are the same.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Megan Carroll. 
The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.
    2. Section 308(a) of Congressional Budget Act. As required 
by clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget 
Act of 1974, this bill does not contain any new budget 
authority, spending authority, credit authority, or an increase 
or decrease in revenues or tax expenditures. CBO estimates that 
implementing H.R. 3 would have no significant impact on the 
federal budget.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill is to approve the construction, 
operation, and maintenance of the Keystone XL pipeline.

                           EARMARK STATEMENT

    This bill does not contain any Congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined 
under clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                       COMPLIANCE WITH H. RES. 5

    Directed Rule Making. The Chairman does not believe that 
this bill directs any executive branch official to conduct any 
specific rule-making proceedings.
    Duplication of Existing Programs. This bill does not 
establish or reauthorize a program of the federal government 
known to be duplicative of another program. Such program was 
not included in any report from the Government Accountability 
Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139 
or identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance published pursuant to the Federal Program 
Information Act (Public Law 95-220, as amended by Public Law 
98-169) as relating to other programs.

                PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing 
law.

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

    We oppose H.R. 3 because it would have the United States 
bear all of the environmental risk of transporting dirty tar 
sands oil without ensuring that American consumers or our 
energy security realize any of the benefits. The Keystone XL 
pipeline would end in Port Arthur, Texas and other designated 
foreign free trade zones where it could be exported without 
having to pay excise taxes. The president of TransCanada, the 
company proposing to build the Keystone XL pipeline, has 
refused to commit that the fuel produced from tar sands oil 
transported through the Keystone pipeline will actually stay in 
the United States to benefit our consumers. The Majority's 
legislation would do nothing to prevent the oil and refined 
fuels from the Keystone XL pipeline from simply being re-
exported out of America.
    This legislation would completely ignore the lessons from 
recent pipeline spills. In April of 2013, a pipeline owned by 
ExxonMobil carrying heavy crude oil from the tar sands region 
of Canada ruptured in the town of Mayflower, Arkansas, spilling 
thousands of barrels of oil into marsh areas and populated 
neighborhoods. Yet the Majority's legislation would waive 
critical environmental laws such as the Endangered Species Act, 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) National Historic 
Preservation Act, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for the 
approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.
    The Majority's legislation would also do nothing to close a 
loophole that currently allows oil companies importing tar 
sands oil to avoid paying into the Oil Spill Liability Trust 
Fund, which is used to respond to and clean up oil spills. 
Because of a misguided ruling by the IRS that tar sands oil is, 
in fact, not oil for purposes of paying into the Trust Fund, 
this dirty oil currently gets a free ride through U.S. 
pipelines. The Government Accountability Office has already 
warned Congress that the Trust Fund is at risk of running out 
of money because of expensive cleanup efforts for major spills 
such as BP's Deepwater Horizon disaster and the Enbridge 
pipeline spill in Michigan in 2010. The Obama Administration 
has proposed to close this tar sands tax loophole in its 2014 
budget request.
    The route of the proposed pipeline would cross through 
Indian Country near and potentially over, culturally 
significant areas to Tribal nations. It would also pass through 
or near burial grounds and other sacred places that are not 
held in trust by the federal government but exist in 
traditional and historic Tribal territories that have clear and 
ongoing Tribal interests. The National Congress of American 
Indians, the oldest, largest and most representative American 
Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country, has 
voiced concerns over these issues.
    The Majority rejected an amendment from Energy and Mineral 
Resources Subcommittee Ranking Member Holt that would have 
ensured that all the oil and refined fuels from the Keystone XL 
pipeline actually stay in the United States and not be 
exported. The Majority also rejected an amendment from 
Representative Holt that would have closed the tax loophole 
that currently lets oil companies importing tar sands to avoid 
paying into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. The Majority 
voted down an amendment from Representative Shea-Porter that 
would have ensured that H.R. 3 could not take effect until the 
Secretary of Transportation completed a review of safety 
regulations to ensure they are sufficient to cover pipelines 
transporting tar sands oil. The Majority also rejected an 
amendment from Ms. Shea-Porter that would have required the 
company operating the Keystone XL pipeline to disclose all of 
its political contributions, following the Citizens United 
decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. Representative Hanabusa, 
Ranking Member of the Indian and Alaska Native Affairs 
subcommittee, offered an amendment that was unanimously voted 
down by Committee Republicans that would have ensured that 
cultural and sacred sites of Native American tribes are 
protected to the fullest extent possible during construction 
and operation of the Keystone XL pipeline.
    This legislation represents a complete disregard of the 
impacts tar sands oil can have on our climate, our environment 
and our economy. Rather than ensuring that we have the proper 
protections in place for our environment, before we ship this 
dirty oil across this country, this bill forces us in the 
complete opposite direction; all while doing nothing to ensure 
that Keystone oil would enhance our energy security.
                                   Edward J. Markey.
                                   Rush D. Holt.