Posted March 26, 2014
A Vets4Energy press event in support of building the Keystone XL pipeline underscored the link between North American energy security – based on increased domestic production and a stronger partnership with Canada, our No. 1 source of imported oil – and national security. The pipeline would be a significant part of an energy strategy that could see 100 percent of the United States’ liquid fuel needs supplied domestically and from Canada by 2024.
This resonates with men and women whose mission often involves ensuring the safe flow of energy around the world. Retired Rear Admiral Don Loren (left):
“I believe that everybody realizes that there is a relationship between the flow of energy, the access to energy and national and international security. … Having unbounded energy resources, not (being) dependent on foreign energy sources, it gives us tremendous military strength and capability.”
Loren said the Keystone XL pipeline would bring energy to the U.S. and boost to the country’s economic health – another support for national security:
“We all depend on a sound economy. No matter what sector you represent in the United States, you need a vibrant, sound economy. The Keystone pipeline will contribute to that.”
Vets4Energy is a group of volunteer veterans (below) who support energy policies that sustain America’s national security. It also is involved in helping veterans transition to energy industry jobs, including positions that would be created during construction of the Keystone XL. Loren:
“I personally believe that many of the skills that our young men and women serving the nation today, that are leaving the service, have are transportable to the types of jobs that will be created and promoted by the Keystone pipeline.”
Tony Caldarelli of Conneaut Lake, Pa., served with the 463rd Engineer Combat Battalion in Iraq in 2004 and 2005:
“I had a deep understanding that I’d just spent a year (with) people trying to blow me up in the Sunni Triangle … That’s what this issue (Keystone XL) means to me personally. If I had set up this press conference, it would be in Arlington (National Cemetery). … This is about national security and about our sons and daughters not having to do what those of us who are sitting in this room did.”
Other speakers at the event included U.S. Sens. John Hoeven of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and U.S. Rep. Lee Terry of Nebraska. Hoeven put U.S. energy security in a current context:
“I was just in the Ukraine, and there you see a situation where Russia has just taken part of Ukraine. Now the question is, what are we going to do? … What stronger example do we need to see in terms of understanding the importance of energy security?”
The Keystone XL pipeline is part of a larger, holistic approach to ensuring America’s energy supply and energy security. The project has cleared five environmental reviews by the U.S. State Department in an application process that is in its sixth year. Keystone XL would create jobs, spread economic growth and deliver upwards of 830,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada and the U.S. Bakken region. Sound energy policy and national security are “inexorably linked,” Loren said.
The Keystone XL would be integral to sound energy policy, is in the national interest and should be approved. API President and CEO Jack Gerard (right) said the delayed decision on the Keystone XL is sending the wrong signal to the rest of the world:
“A nation that is so indecisive on as simple a question as this will have a hard time convincing the rest of the world we can be decisive when it comes to their interests. We’ve got to get focused on this. The world is watching. We need to send the signal: We’re serious about our domestic energy policy and our global energy policy. This is a signal we’ve been waiting for, it’s time to approve the Keystone pipeline.”
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.