Posted October 6, 2011
According to reports, members of the recent protests that have descended on lower Manhattan and Chicago plan to rally at the final State Department public hearing for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, scheduled Friday in Washington, D.C.
Certainly, the public square is big enough for all voices. Here are some others being heard on the Keystone XL, from Lincoln, Neb., Topeka, Kansas and, below, from last week's public hearing in Austin, Texas:
It's important to hear what these folks are saying: energy security, energy reality and, of course, jobs.
Oil from Canadian oil sands represents abundant energy from a secure source, our friend and ally to the north. As Bobby Petty said, more oil from Canada directly bears on the United States' access to reliable supply. Canadian oil is a key part of a strategy that could see 100 percent of our liquid fuel needs met domestically and from Canada by 2026.
Then you have jobs and the economy. Speakers mentioned the employment that could result from the Keystone XL - 10,000 jobs immediately and up to 20,000 during the project's construction phase alone. The Canadian Energy Research Institute estimates that 500,000 U.S. jobs could be created by 2035 with full utilization of Canada's oil sands, which includes the Keystone XL. On the economy, union member Gary Speegle got some laughs by observing what often is overlooked: the integral nature of oil in our daily way of life.
All good things to think about as the public square livens up on Friday.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.