The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Time to Stop Talking – Time To Build

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 13, 2015

The federal approval process for cross-border pipelines (and there are many) historically has taken 18 to 24 months, yet the White House says that more than six years isn't enough time to determine whether the Keystone XL pipeline is in the national interest.

Perhaps the State Department can help them out. On the need for Keystone XL:

The proposed Project is meant to respond to the market demand of refineries for crude oil of the kind found in Western Canada (often called heavy crude oil). The proposed Project would also provide transportation for the kind of crude oil found within the Bakken formation of North Dakota and Montana (often called light crude oil).

On Keystone XL’s jobs and economic impacts:

During construction, proposed Project spending would support approximately 42,100 jobs (direct, indirect, and induced), and approximately $2 billion in earnings throughout the United States.

More economic impact:

Construction of the proposed Project would contribute approximately $3.4 billion to the U.S. GDP. This figure includes not only earnings by workers, but all other income earned by businesses and individuals engaged in the production of goods and services demanded by the proposed Project, such as profits, rent, interest, and dividends.

Add to the above that State found Keystone XL would have no bearing on the development of Canada’s oil sands and thus no significant environmental impact, climate or otherwise:

… approval or denial of any one crude oil transport project, including the proposed Project, is unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands or the continued demand for heavy crude oil at refineries in the United States based on expected oil prices, oil-sands supply costs, transport costs, and supply-demand scenarios.

All factor into a determination that infrastructure of this nature is in the national interest – a point grasped by a strong majority of Americans in the Keystone XL debate – which seems to elude the White House. Now, if the White House doesn’t want to listen to what its own State Department says about infrastructure, maybe another voice will be more persuasive:


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.