The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Keystone XL: In the National Interest

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 22, 2013

On the Keystone XL pipeline, President Obama’s decision boils down to this: Is the $7 billion project in the United States’ national interest? Economic, energy and environmental considerations figure into the answer, but ultimately the president is charged with determining whether Keystone XL will make our country stronger and safer without significantly impacting the environment and the people along its 1,179-mile route.

We say yes – for a number of good reasons.

The pipeline will make the U.S. stronger – economically, by creating jobs and providing broad economic stimulus, and more energy secure by bringing more than 800,000 barrels of oil a day to our Gulf Coast refineries from a friendly, stable source (Canada) as well as the U.S. Bakken region. As for the environment, four separate State Department reviews have said the pipeline can be built and operated while posing “no significant impacts.”

Over the next few days we’ll take a closer look at the main issues that should persuade the president to approve the full Keystone XL project – economics/energy, pipeline safety and the environment – developed from API’s official public comments on the State Department’s most recent assessment. These comments underscore what the oil and natural gas industry and other pipeline supporters have been saying for more than four years – that the full Keystone XL should be approved. API:

We support (the State Department’s) findings which confirm, once again, that there will be no significant impacts to most resources along the proposed project route. After more than four years of an unprecedentedly thorough review, it is time to move forward beyond the findings of this review, which has been conducted in coordination with dozens of other federal, state and local agencies, and determine that this project is in our nation’s interest.

API welcomes the next stage of the Keystone XL approval process, a period of inter-agency discussion of whether the project serves the national interest that is expected to involve the Defense, Justice, Interior, Commerce, Transportation, Energy and Homeland Security departments and the Environmental Protection Agency. API:

With the environmental assessment repeatedly assessed, it is time to move forward in this national interest determination process. … This project is absolutely in our nation’s interest. The proposed Keystone XL pipeline should be approved immediately. … It will create jobs now when we need them most. It will help bolster economic growth and provide energy security. With such positive contributions to the U.S. economy and the potential for increased supplies from our stable neighbor, Canada, we hope that (State) recognizes this project is in our national interest and facilitates a swift approval.

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.