The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Six Years of Delay Later, Its Time to Build the Keystone XL Pipeline

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted July 8, 2014

The Keystone XL Pipeline has been studied, and studied, and studied, in fact if the permit application were a person, it would have just graduated kindergarten. However, after nearly six years of studies which show positive benefits to our economy and energy security with no significant environmental impacts  – politics are still trumping good policy.

The Final Environmental Impact Statement released by the State Department earlier this year found the project would deliver 830,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada and the U.S. Bakken region to U.S. refineries, create 42,100 jobs during its construction phase and provide $3.4 billion in additional revenue to U.S. GDP.

Today the American Petroleum Institute and a coalition of associations have signed a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry requesting that the State Department immediately complete the Keystone XL Pipeline National Interest Determination (NID) process and grant final approval on the presidential cross-border permit. An excerpt:

“Our labor community continues to face a stubborn unemployment rate that by far outpaces the national average, yet we continue to wait. Over 70 percent of Americans, including a majority of both Republicans and Democrats, support the building of this project and yet we continue to wait. The facts and benefits are clear; this project is in our national interest.”

This echoes what the American public thinks: It’s time to build this shovel-ready project. In fact according to a recent Pew report, support for the pipeline project is almost universal, including a majority of both Republicans and Democrats support the building of this project, yet the delay continues.

A stunning fact about the politics surrounding this particular pipeline: Since the initial permit application was filed in 2008, more than 10,000 miles of oil and natural gas pipeline have been built in the U.S.; this is enough pipe to cross our country nearly four times.

The environmental tests have been passed and Keystone XL is clearly in the national interest. The question is whether Secretary Kerry and the rest of the administration will side with the scientists and experts, and the American people who agree there is no reason to delay further. 


Mary Schaper is a Digital Communications Manager for the American Petroleum Institute. She previously worked on Capitol Hill for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee as Digital Director and for Senator Lisa Murkowski. Before coming to D.C., she spearheaded digital strategy for Murkowski's successful Senate write-in campaign in 2010. Schaper enjoys traveling and taking in the local culture alongside her husband, their son and loyal springer spaniel.