WASHINGTON, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- House Republicans said building the Keystone XL oil pipeline would protect U.S. consumers from higher prices at the gasoline pump.
Pipeline company TransCanada rallied supporters at a news conference this week touting the benefits of Keystone XL. The project is meant to move Canadian crude oil to southern U.S. refineries.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee said the project not only gives the United States greater access to secure oil supplies but would protect against overseas supply disruptions and high gasoline prices.
"To help protect Americans from higher gas prices we must do everything we can to increase access to affordable supplies and advance North American energy independence, including building the Keystone XL pipeline," the statement read.
Motor group AAA reports gasoline prices in the United States continued a steady rise Thursday with a national average of $3.77, up 15 cents compared to the same time last week. Drivers in Michigan, committee Chairman Rep. Fred Upton's home state, paid some of the highest prices in the country at $3.88 for a gallon of regular unleaded.
Higher oil prices on the international oil market coupled with refinery outages and a scheduled switch to summer blends of gasoline are in part to blame for higher oil prices.
Opponents of Keystone XL have challenged the claims on gasoline prices, saying it would divert oil from refineries that may process gasoline.