Weekly Columns

Keystone Pipeline Should Be a No-Brainer

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Washington, March 6, 2013 | Tiffany McGuffee (202-226-8072) | comments

A project with bipartisan support that would create more than 15,000 jobs and reduce our dependence on oil from unstable countries may sound too good to be true, but it’s not. According to a recent poll conducted by Fox News, 70 percent of Americans say they support building the Keystone XL pipeline—including 57 percent of Democrats. Despite administration delays, last week, the State Department released its review of the Keystone XL project. The review raised no major objections to the pipeline and said any of the alternative options to get oil from Canada could be more harmful to the environment than the pipeline.

Still, President Obama has yet to give this project the green light, opting to put the demands of environmentalists ahead of the needs of working Americans. While we must be good stewards of the environment, the Keystone pipeline has been highly scrutinized and has met all the standards, proving it to be environmentally acceptable. The pipeline would immediately create more than 15,000 good-paying jobs, reduce our dependency on oil from unstable countries and help ease pain at the pump. Construction of the pipeline will also act as an economic engine in the private sector by generating investment in food, lodging, fuel, vehicles, equipment, construction and services

This should be a no-brainer for the administration, and it has been for some cabinet members. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton deemed the project to “be in national interest,” but unfortunately the president put the project on hold last January to ramp up his reelection campaign. Widespread support for the pipeline combined with the State Department’s assessment should pave the way for construction of this important project. I hope the president will now allow the pipeline to move forward.

More oil isn’t the answer to all of our energy problems. We must pursue a true all-of-the-above energy policy that includes nuclear, coal, and oil in addition to investments in renewable energy like wind, solar and hydro. But we must make these changes and transitions in a way that makes sense, and we should do it without massive government subsidies that favor one form of energy over another. The Keystone pipeline is an immediate step towards solving one of our most pressing national security concerns. It’s past time to move forward with the Keystone pipeline.

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Tags: Energy