The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Mr. President, Approve This Pipeline

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 19, 2012

No more political posturing, no more pretending the only thing holding up the Keystone XL pipeline is that it needs more study, Mr. President. It’s time to act in our national interest and get this job-generating, energy-delivering project under way.

On Wednesday the U.S. House of Representatives voted – for the fifth time – in favor of the Keystone XL. The 293-127 vote was truly bipartisan, with 69 Democrats joining 224 Republicans in support of the pipeline.

Meanwhile, TransCanada, the pipeline’s builder, submitted a new route proposal to Nebraska officials that basically would detour the project around the environmentally sensitive Sand Hills region that was the primary concern with the company’s original route through the state. Here’s a map of the company’s preferred new path, courtesy the Omaha World-Herald:

So, here’s where things stand:

  • Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, who objected to the project’s original route, is onboard, having signed a bill to restart the route review process in his state, making it a top priority.
  • The legislature has passed bills paving the way for the project’s approval at the state level.
  • The Sand Hills will be protected.
  • The administration already backs the southern leg of the Keystone XL, from Cushing, Okla., to the Gulf Coast, and the northern leg is strongly supported by the states it crosses (Montana, South Dakota).
  • The project previously was studied for three years by the State Department, passing three consecutive environmental reviews.
  • Americans want the pipeline built, as a string of national polls (Pew, Fox News, Rasmussen) shows.

API President and CEO Jack Gerard:

“The stars are aligning for America’s energy future, and President Obama should make the right choice now and approve the entire Keystone XL pipeline. The president’s concerns about the sensitive Sand Hills area of Nebraska have been addressed. There are no more excuses. Mr. President, let’s get this energy and job creating project started now. A true ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy should include more oil from our reliable and stable energy partner, Canada. Keystone XL would bring upwards of 830,000 barrels a day of Canadian oil from Alberta to U.S. refineries in the Gulf. Bringing more Canadian energy to the market will send a signal to the markets that help at the pump is on the way. The president should not delay any further on this important issue.”

No more excuses, no more delay. The studies have been conducted. Concerns have been addressed. There’s no need to restart the clock on a process that already has stretched beyond three years.

The Keystone XL would make a significant statement to global crude oil markets that America is serious about exercising greater control over its energy future.

The pipeline would bring oil from Canada, our neighbor and ally, to refining facilities that are second-to-none in the ability to process oil sands crude.

The project also would pick up large supplies of domestic crude from North Dakota and Montana (an estimated 25 percent of its capacity), helping to alleviate current issues with bringing oil out of the booming Bakken region.

In addition to the energy, the pipeline would help create tens of thousands of U.S. jobs while also helping preserve valuable U.S. refining and production jobs. Gerard:

“More American energy together with more Canadian oil and domestic biofuels could make the U.S. energy self-sufficient in transportation fuels in just 12 years. It’s an energy goal the president should strive for if he is serious about an ‘all the above’ energy strategy.”


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.