American_Pipeline_Feature_03-2014

Keystone XL and the national interest

This morning the Senate Foreign Services Committee held a hearing to ask whether building the Keystone XL pipeline from the Canadian oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries in the United States is in the national interest.

American_Pipeline_03-2014It’s a good question, one the Obama administration has been struggling to answer for more than five years.

The real question is why it is taking them so long, since it obviously would be in the United States’ economic and national security interest to see that the pipeline gets built.

That point was hammered home by one of the panel’s witnesses, Karen Harbert of the Institute for 21st Century Energy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Karen touched on the ever-changing dynamics of the global economy to explain the importance of moving forward with Keystone XL:

At a time when North Sea oil output is falling, large emerging economies are growing into large oil consumers, putting pressure on spare oil production capacity globally. Potential political instability in many producing countries is also on the rise, and greater output from a close friend and ally like Canada is needed and welcome.

I was pleased that committee chairman Robert Menendez began the hearing by noting the full support for Keystone XL exhibited by the Laborers’ International Union of North America. Earlier this week ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson hailed organized labor for helping in the fight for Keystone XL and its strong contribution to our energy policy discussions.

2 million public comments

The State Department’s public comment period on the Keystone XL project ended Friday, and officials report they received more than 2 million comments from individuals and organizations weighing in on whether the pipeline should be approved. ExxonMobil’s comments supporting a public-interest designation can be found here.

The comments offer a comprehensive argument for proceeding with the pipeline, and they note the contributions offered by experts such as IHS and the Energy Information Administration.

Ironically, one the strongest arguments for going forward with the project is provided by the organization charged with making the final determination: The U.S. State Department.

The State Department’s own study shows that completing the pipeline will increase U.S. gross domestic product by $3.4 billion.

The department also has noted that Keystone XL would also bring a property tax windfall to localities along the project’s corridor, without impacting residential or agricultural property values.

Given that Keystone XL would be a safe, responsible method for transporting needed supplies of energy, given that it would create jobs and boost economic growth, and given that the State Department notes it will not appreciably increase greenhouse gas emissions, it is hard to see how anyone could reasonably dispute that Keystone XL is in our nation’s interest.


4 Comments

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  1. John Ensslen says:

    This pipeline should not just be Canadian American Yet hopefully someday it will be shared among our Southern neighbors instead of being our Southern enemies( which is Mexico). Yes, Mexico wasted natural gas and most petroleum industrial products that can used from Natural gas to change over to Liquified natural gas including methane gas can used.
    Which even United States wasted nearly 60 % of this energy Yet, it does smell or stink however; when used properly, it can used in many multiple uses including Bio diesel which can be distilled properly to eradicate this odor. Keystone XL pipeline can branch outward in either direction East, West, North, or South. We can rearrange our infrastructure and update this older pipelines as well. We must or there be more catastrophic oil spills. Protection Security is number one thing for any new or old pipeline. and Sharing among our Northern (Canada) and Southern (Mexico) is the olive branch to our immigrational problems. Instead of added more fences and security cameras Let them be used on our pipeline It is primarily in the greater 48 States. Yes even East and Western States want this pipeline It is a matter people principal. I have distant relatives in Alberta Canada Yet, I was born in United States (New Jersey- South- western part) .

    • Steve Collins says:

      I hope you’re right. I’m growing a little tired of this made up hate fest we are having with our respectable and good neighbors to our south. I’m just not sure what this means for us the consumer. If it doesn’t equate in lower prices at the pump and only ends up in more corporate profits, i’ll be a little pissed.

  2. Steve Collins says:

    I am curious though with all the right wing mantra about how we need to drill baby drill to ensure energy independence and the lefts insistence that we are more energy independent than ever, why is it that we are consistently paying more for gasoline now than ever? It would seem that as consumers we’d be better off leaving it in the ground and encouraging another middle eastern war to drop the price similar to the 1980s Iran Iraq war. Maybe give the Saudis a bit of an expansion scare from Iran and have them selling oil like crazy to establish an arms race? I just wish that our elected officials would realize that we WILL NOT economically “recover” until we get the cost of energy under control for the consumer. Big oil will continue to profit but the citizens of this nation will continue to struggle while energy priced (end user) remains so consistently high. Ahem… can we vote them out yet?

  3. William Kandravi Jr. says:

    Even China AGREES JOBS ARE GOOD AND OBAMA SLOWS ECONOMY!

  4. John Ensslen says:

    This pipeline should not just be Canadian American Yet hopefully someday it will be shared among our Southern neighbors instead of being our Southern enemies( which is Mexico). Yes, Mexico wasted natural gas and most petroleum industrial products that can used from Natural gas to change over to Liquified natural gas including methane gas can used.
    Which even United States wasted nearly 60 % of this energy Yet, it does smell or stink however; when used properly, it can used in many multiple uses including Bio diesel which can be distilled properly to eradicate this odor. Keystone XL pipeline can branch outward in either direction East, West, North, or South. We can rearrange our infrastructure and update this older pipelines as well. We must or there be more catastrophic oil spills. Protection Security is number one thing for any new or old pipeline. and Sharing among our Northern (Canada) and Southern (Mexico) is the olive branch to our immigrational problems. Instead of added more fences and security cameras Let them be used on our pipeline It is primarily in the greater 48 States. Yes even East and Western States want this pipeline It is a matter people principal. I have distant relatives in Alberta Canada Yet, I was born in United States (New Jersey- South- western part) .

    • Steve Collins says:

      I hope you’re right. I’m growing a little tired of this made up hate fest we are having with our respectable and good neighbors to our south. I’m just not sure what this means for us the consumer. If it doesn’t equate in lower prices at the pump and only ends up in more corporate profits, i’ll be a little pissed.

  5. Steve Collins says:

    I am curious though with all the right wing mantra about how we need to drill baby drill to ensure energy independence and the lefts insistence that we are more energy independent than ever, why is it that we are consistently paying more for gasoline now than ever? It would seem that as consumers we’d be better off leaving it in the ground and encouraging another middle eastern war to drop the price similar to the 1980s Iran Iraq war. Maybe give the Saudis a bit of an expansion scare from Iran and have them selling oil like crazy to establish an arms race? I just wish that our elected officials would realize that we WILL NOT economically “recover” until we get the cost of energy under control for the consumer. Big oil will continue to profit but the citizens of this nation will continue to struggle while energy priced (end user) remains so consistently high. Ahem… can we vote them out yet?

  6. William Kandravi Jr. says:

    Even China AGREES JOBS ARE GOOD AND OBAMA SLOWS ECONOMY!