FACE OFF: Keystone XL Pipeline will provide US energy and economic security

For decades now, politicians have been promising to break America’s dependence on Middle Eastern oil.

The current 2 billion barrels of oil per day that we import from this tumultuous region means Americans are held hostage. They’re held hostage by the political instability created by rouge nations like Iran. They’re held hostage by the high gas prices they pay at the pump — currently more than $4 per gallon here in New Hampshire.

The high cost of such an important resource like gasoline puts more stress on family finances and makes it harder for working Americans to make ends meet — all at a time when many Americans are out of work as unemployment remains high.

And yet when President Obama had a chance to, with a single action, create tens of thousands of new American jobs, lessen America’s dependence of Middle Eastern oil, and build on our strong relationship with one of America’s best allies, what did he do?

President Obama said, “no.”

The Keystone XL pipeline would build a connection to the ample supply of oil contained in Canada’s oil sands. The 2.4 million barrels of oil per day we import from our good neighbors to the north makes Canada already our largest supplier of crude oil.

Total oil imports from Canada are projected to rise to 4 million barrels per day by 202 if only Keystone was approved.

The Keystone XL pipeline is that rare project that is truly shovel-ready. Experts estimate that 20,000 new American jobs would be created immediately in construction and manufacturing. That’s 20,000 more Americans at work right away building towards a more secure energy future for America.

Plus, the economic activity produced as a result of the construction of Keystone would mean tens of thousands more jobs created in retail, service and other areas of the economy.

New American jobs. A more secure energy future and a strengthened partnership with our Canadian allies. Energy independence from the grip of the volatile Middle East.

This is what President Obama said “no” to when he was playing politics and rejected the Keystone XL pipeline.

And who’s cheering the President’s decision? The Middle East OPEC nations and China.

After President Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, Prime Minister Stephen Harper immediately began to seek out a new buyer for the oil from Canada’s oil sands — China.

Canada won’t wait for us. And, after President Obama’s rebuke, why should they?

If President Obama has his way, tens of thousands of American jobs would go unrealized. And our loss would be China’s and OPEC’s gain.

President Obama should approve the Keystone XL pipeline now before it’s too late. Let’s put Americans to work building towards a more secure energy future.

John E. Lyons, Jr. owns Lyons Law Offices in Portsmouth and is Chairman of the New Hampshire Energy Forum.

Author: John E. Lyons, Jr.

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