March 7, 2014 was the final day to submit comments to the U.S. Department of State in support of Keystone XL. TransCanada filed a detailed submission highlighting key findings in the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, specifically, that the project would be the safest pipeline ever constructed on U.S. soil, it would create significant economic benefits including thousands of jobs, and that the project would not ‘significantly exacerbate’ global climate change.
The project now enters its second month of the 90-day National Interest Determination period. During this phase of the process, federal agencies will have time to prepare further input to the State Department in order to reach a recommendation of national interest. Below are the reasons why Keystone XL has overwhelming majority public support and why, after more than 2,000 days, this project remains in the national interest of the United States.
Five Reasons to Support Building the Keystone XL Pipeline
This project is the definition of shovel-ready. Almost overnight, Keystone XL would put 9,000 hard-working American men and women directly to work. The U.S. State Department’s Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (PDF, 4 MB) found that the project would support more than 42,000 direct and indirect jobs nationwide.
2. Economic Benefits
Keystone XL will contribute more than $3 billion towards U.S. GDP. Taxes paid by the project will greatly benefit the towns and counties it passes through. The U.S. State Department’s Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (PDF, 4 MB) showed Keystone XL will provide a substantial increase in tax revenues for counties along the pipeline route, with 17 of 27 expected to see increases of 10 percent or more. That means millions of more dollars flowing into county budgets helping to keep property taxes down and fund projects such as roads, bridges and hospitals.
3. Energy Security
Keystone XL connects the largest most sophisticated refining hub in the Gulf Coast with the third largest oil reserves on the planet and the second largest oil-producing region in the United States. Safe, secure access to U.S. and Canadian crude oil is key to ensuring long-term energy security. That’s exactly what Keystone XL provides.
4. Environmentally Responsible
The State Department’s Final SEIS, and four previous environmental impact statements, containing more than 20,000 pages of scientific research, all reached a similar conclusion: Keystone XL would have minimal impact on the environment. Multiple scientific studies have also shown that Keystone XL and the development of the oil sands will have a minimal impact on global greenhouse gas emissions.
It has been well-established that pipelines are, by far, the safest mode of transportation for crude oil and natural gas. A recent Fraser Institute study shows that pipeline workers are less likely to be injured on the job and pipelines have fewer incidents per mile than trains and trucks. The State Department environmental impact reports have concluded that Keystone XL would have a degree of safety greater than any other crude oil pipeline in operation in the U.S. That’s because we’ve agreed to 59 additional special safety conditions that go above and beyond federal regulations such as burying the pipe deeper in the ground, adding more automatic shut off valves and increasing inspections. Crude oil needs to move from wells to the refineries. We have the responsibility to do that in the safest and most efficient way possible, no compromises.