The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Keystone XL: Safety, Reliability and Jobs

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 22, 2012

TransCanada President and CEO Russ Girling has a letter to the editor in the New York Times after the newspaper’s recent editorial criticizing the Keystone XL pipeline. Main points:

  • The Keystone XL would feature the strongest steel and would conform to the highest safety standards.
  • TransCanada already has agreed to 57 special conditions laid out by the federal pipeline administration, including remotely controlled shut-off valves, increased inspections and burying the pipe deeper than originally proposed.
  • The Keystone XL has successfully cleared three separate environmental reviews. The final, 10,000-page environmental impact statement said that measures taken by TransCanada would result in a “project that would have a degree of safety over any other typically constructed domestic oil pipeline system under current code.”


“TransCanada has safely and reliably operated pipelines and other energy infrastructure across North America for more than 60 years. Our existing 2,154-mile Keystone pipeline from Alberta to Cushing, Okla., has delivered 240 million barrels of Canadian oil safely to American markets since 2010. It would be a shame for Americans not to receive the benefits of Keystone XL — a secure supply of North American oil and thousands of jobs — if the project is not approved.”

The Keystone XL pipeline is central to a forward-looking, long-term energy strategy, capable of delivering more than 800,000 barrels of oil per day from neighbor and ally Canada. It and other infrastructure projects could allow the United States to see 100 percent of its liquid fuel needs supplied domestically and from Canada by 2024.

Girling is right: Denial of this important energy project would be a shame. Last week the House of Representatives voted for the sixth time to advance the project, one the American people support by a 2-1 margin, according to Gallup. The Keystone XL has been reviewed, exhaustively. Questions have been answered, problems solved. There are no more good excuses for keeping it on the drawing board.


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.