GOP Rep. Billy Long of Missouri, a member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, says House Republicans need to continue putting pressure on Democrats and the Senate to move ahead on the Keystone XL pipeline, which has been delayed for more than five years.
"The country is covered with pipelines of one type or another. These are 40-, 60-, 80-year-old pipelines. We're talking about building a state-of-the-art pipeline here that's going to be a lot less dangerous than some of these old, leaky lines that are out there now.
"It's going to be safer than moving it above ground, as we found out recently. So, those are the type of things we're working on," he told Newsmax TV's John Bachman and J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" on Wednesday.
As for the administration's opposition to the pipeline, Long said, "Any time you're talking about oil, people are going to just go crazy if they're on the environmental side, whether it's a rational thought or not, and this is not a rational thought on their behalf."
"So you'd have to talk to those folks as far as what their rationale is. Like I said earlier, when you have so many old pipelines across the country – we're talking about a state-of-the-art pipeline – this is certainly not going to be an environmental hazard," he said.
"And the unions are wanting to build this," he added. "There are a lot of jobs to be had through this, and also we don't want Canada to turn off the spigot on us and turn around, and they're going to send it over to China if they don't send it down here."
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Long has represented Missouri's Seventh Congressional District since 2011, after winning the House seat vacated by incumbent Roy Blunt, who ran for the Senate.
He maintained that there might be more support for the pipeline from Democrats ahead of the November elections.
"We've seen movement from the Democrats. Some are actually running for the Senate from our committee, and some are House members that are trying to protect their seat. After the special election that was held on March the 11th in Florida, the Florida 13th seat, that's going to send shock waves throughout the Democrat community," he said, referring to Republican David Jolly's defeat of Democrat Alex Sink.
"They're going to have to rethink what they do and how they approach things because it doesn't look like it's going to be a good year to be a Democrat in November."
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