Paul Ryan: Keystone XL Pipeline Should Be Approved

In a budget proposal released Tuesday, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) called for the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline and touted the controversial project's potential for job creation.

Ryan argued Monday in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, "Our budget puts the country on the path to North American energy independence." Ryan tackles energy first in the opinion piece, ahead of health care, welfare and tax reform.

Ryan's emphasis on energy policy speaks to the importance of Keystone and other fossil fuel development projects for Republicans. Yet, as The Hill notes, the inclusion of the oil sands pipeline "is a largely symbolic gesture." His budget stands no chance of passing the Democrat-controlled Senate and White House, reports the Associated Press.

Ryan wrote in the budget:

The construction of the Keystone XL Energy Pipeline would create more than 20,000 direct jobs and 118,000 indirect jobs while battling the high cost of gas. Once it was in operation, the pipeline would contribute an additional $5.2 billion in property taxes to communities along the route during the life of the pipeline.

Despite Ryan's job number claims, these figures are arguably inflated. The State Department's recent report suggests that while the project could possibly support 42,100 jobs over the course of a few years, only 35 positions would remain after the construction period ends.

As the Republican vice presidential candidate in October 2012, Ryan said TransCanada's pipeline would receive approval on Day One in a Romney administration. He told supporters in Ohio, "We need to unlock the energy we have in this country to create jobs."

According to a statement from Bold Nebraska, the following won't receive review if "Ryan forces approval of the export pipeline":

-the Ponca Trail of Tears which the Nebraska re-route now crosses
-economic impact of spills and construction on landowners
-risks of water with a worst-case scenario spill
-fundamental issues of property rights of a foreign corporation using eminent domain for private gain

Josh Saks, National Wildlife Federation's Legislative Director, said in an emailed statement to HuffPost, the Ryan budget "[forces] the approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline no matter its impacts to America’s wildlife, climate and clean water while slashing programs that safeguard our communities."

Read the entire budget below: