My Turn: Time to move forward on Keystone XL Pipeline
We are truly at a crossroads for Keystone. The Keystone XL Pipeline that is.
Most Americans know the story of the pipeline. The Keystone XL Pipeline Project is a proposed 1,179-mile, 36-inch-diameter crude oil pipeline, beginning in Hardisty, Alberta, Canada, and extending south to Steele City, Neb.
This pipeline is a critical infrastructure project for the energy security of the United States and for strengthening the American economy.
Along with transporting crude oil from Canada, the Keystone XL Pipeline will also support the significant growth of crude oil production in the United States from producers in the Bakken region of Montana and North Dakota.
This pipeline will allow Canadian and American oil producers more access to the large refining markets found in the American Midwest and along the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Representing the American Council of Engineering Companies in New Hampshire, I joined with several other business organizations and unions on April 30 in front of the State House to express support for the pipeline and to urge our congressional delegation to put pressure on President Obama to commence the building of the pipeline at once.
Every hurdle, every regulatory procedure, every environmental study has been satisfied and approved. In fact, just this past January the United States Department of State issued a final supplemental environmental impact statement for the Keystone XL Pipeline and the findings were clear.
After five years of investigation, the State Department concluded that the building of the pipeline is unlikely to have significant effects on climate-change-causing greenhouse gas emissions.
Just last year, Obama said: “The net effects on the pipeline’s impact on our climate will be absolutely critical in determining whether this project is allowed to go forward.” The State Department answered that question for the President and now it’s time for him to give Americans what they want – and need.
The construction phase of this project will represent more than 20,000 direct engineering, construction and manufacturing jobs across North America; and indirect manufacturing and service jobs could easily exceed 100,000.
Canada is a secure and reliable source of energy for the United States for years to come; and the American and Canadian engineering industries have the know-how and means to bring Canada’s vast energy reserves to market while minimizing any negative environmental impacts.
Just last week, a vote on the pipeline passed in the U.S. Senate Energy Committee. It illustrates the continued desire of many in Congress to get our economy moving and secure our domestic energy resources.
On behalf of our member firms and their employees in New Hampshire, we urge the congressional delegation to use all their power to help push approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
(Alex Koutroubas is executive director of the American Council of Engineering Companies in New Hampshire.)