Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Opinion

February 28, 2014

Bipartisan Proposals to Kick Start "Year of Action"

(Continued)

To preserve jobs and maintain the development of these valuable devices, President Obama should join with a bipartisan majority in Congress to repeal this tax.

Another job-creating move the president immediately can take is to authorize the Keystone XL pipeline.

The $5.3 billion, privately-funded pipeline is the largest, ready-to-build infrastructure project in the United States and is supported by a bipartisan coalition in Congress. Last year, the Senate voted 62-37 to support the project.

This project, which will enhance American energy independence and create jobs, has been sitting on the president’s desk awaiting his signature for five years.

The complete route of the pipeline will run from Alberta, Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast. It would transport an additional 830,000 barrels of oil per day to U.S. refineries, which includes 100,000 barrels a day from the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana.

Last month the State Department issued a report reaffirming prior studies that concluded the Keystone pipeline does not present any significant environmental risks. This report also predicts the pipeline’s construction would support 40,000 jobs.

Given the findings of this report, there is absolutely no reason for President Obama to slow-walk this project any longer. By authorizing the final leg of the Keystone project, the president can allow all Americans to benefit from the pipeline’s job opportunities and increased access to energy.

Taking action on these two items – repealing the medical device tax and authorizing the Keystone pipeline – will not guarantee that this year is different than 2013.

But through these small steps, the president can help American families and show that he is serious about changing the tone to make 2014 a productive year in Washington.

Sen. Dan Coats is a Republican from Indiana.

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