Do you feel like a foreigner in your own country? If you’re born and raised in a country and someone were to refer to you as a foreigner for their own gain, would it upset you?
Unfortunately, this is the direction that the Keystone XL Pipeline narrative has recently taken. Opponents of the project are attempting to paint TransCanada and our employees as a foreign entity with no interest in how its business impacts Americans. These opponents refer to TransCanada as a foreign corporation in an attempt to garner anti-Keystone XL support in the U.S.
While TransCanada’s headquarters are in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, the company has operated in the United States for more than 60 years with offices in Omaha, Westborough and Houston where it employs over 1,800 Americans. Many of our employees are coaches and mentors, volunteer firefighters, veterans and proud boosters for their community. TransCanada’s portfolio of projects includes more than $5 billion in emission-less energy assets including wind farms in Maine and hydro facilities in Vermont. So why refer to TransCanada as a foreign company because of one proposed oil pipeline when we currently have over 21,000 miles of natural gas and crude oil pipelines operating in the U.S. safely delivering energy to Americans? In 2014, TransCanada paid over $173 million in property tax in the United States. So what’s foreign about that?
Many of our employees have taken exception to being referred to as ‘foreign’.
When asked what they thought about working for a “foreign company,” they had some direct responses they were proud to share.
“Every time I hear people refer my company as a “foreign company,” I find it offensive. I am one of thousands of U.S. TransCanada employees who strive to continue the positive legacy of over 60 years of bringing safe and reliable energy into the homes and business in the United States while also being respectful stewards of the land and the environment. We are a multinational company, not a foreign company. We are hardworking, tax-paying citizens who embrace the vision of making our country prosperous and more energy independent. We earn our money here and we spend it here, and we are proud, productive, and responsible members of our individual communities located throughout America.”
Greg A. Thompson
“I don’t work for a foreign company. I work at TransCanada’s Ravenswood Generating Station in Long Island City, New York. I am a native New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn. I still live and own my home there.
I was hired by TransCanada in 2009. When TransCanada purchased Ravenswood they retained all 200 employees which are from the tri-state area. I am proud to work for this company. TransCanada understands the importance of employing members from the local community where our assets are located. This process helps the local economy and grows neighborhoods.”
Long Island, New York
“It bothers me to be honest. I have lived in Vermont all my life. I pay taxes here; I’m American and I have worked for TransCanada here in the northeastern U.S. region for nearly 10 years. I see TransCanada as a North American company. It’s not a foreign corporation as opponents of Keystone XL would have you believe. We’re a North American energy company with offices in Canada, the United States and Mexico. The company has operated in both Canada and the U.S. for more than 60 years. I welcome advancements in energy independence. I’m proud to work for TransCanada.”
Bellows Falls, Vermont
“It frustrates me that Keystone XL opponents are so set on alienating us Americans. I am a U.S. citizen that works in Omaha, Nebraska and Brookings, South Dakota. Both locations are in the U.S., I get paid in American dollars; I pay American taxes that support American schools. Referring to us as foreigners is disrespectful to the employees that call America home.”
It’s extremely unfortunate that these delays on approving the Keystone XL Pipeline are hurting the 42,000 Americans this pipeline will employ, and the taxpayers and counties that will benefit from $5 billion in property taxes.