When President Barack Obama announced his energy plan for his second term, he said he was going to implement an “all of the above” energy policy that would include both natural gas and petroleum production. However, the president has been putting the Keystone XL Pipeline on hold for four years.
The proposed 1,700-mile pipeline would carry up to 830,000 barrels per day of crude oil from Alberta, Canada, and the Bakken Shale Formation in the U.S. to Nebraska then onto the oil refineries in the Gulf Coast, according to the State Department. As the libertarian magazine Reason explains, the oil sands of Alberta are estimated to hold 170 billion barrels of petroleum, the largest reservoir of oil outside Saudi Arabia. To achieve energy independence, lower gas prices and create thousands of jobs, the U.S. should approve the Keystone XL Pipeline.
If America doesn’t build the pipeline, the oil will be purchased by China and other countries looking for cheap energy, some of which are already in talks with TransCanada, the corporation behind the pipeline. Whether you are for or against the extraction of the Albertan tar sands, extraction will happen. Now we must decide who we want it to benefit.
The State Department released a new Environmental Impact Statement on the TransCanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline project. This report should be a game changer, as the State Department concluded that the construction of the pipeline would not worsen global warming, as many environmentalists have warned. The State Department reported that U.S. refiners, mostly in the Gulf Coast, would see economic advantages from the Keystone XL pipeline.
The pipeline will add thousands of construction jobs to our struggling economy. TransCanada already promised 15,000 American jobs to just build the pipeline, not to mention the annual economic benefits after the pipeline is built, which include billions in both economic activity and tax revenues.
This new report should pave the way for the pipeline’s approval and the American people should stand behind the project. Energy independence will make for a more secure America and will decrease our involvement in the Middle East. The jobs will boost economic activity in a time where the economy is stalling. North American oil will bring down gas prices at a time when they are surging more than four dollars a gallon. The Keystone XL Pipeline is a common sense energy approach that Obama should approve today.