As a lifelong Texas resident, I feel the need to write concerning the approval process of the Keystone XL Pipeline Project. As I am sure you are aware, this project is awaiting a Presidential Permit for the pipeline to cross the U.S./Canada border.
I am a 34-year pipeline construction worker and a Texas taxpayer. I am tired of sending our wealth to countries that use the money to attack our way of life. With Canada having the world’s third-largest oil deposit, it makes perfect sense to purchase as much oil as we can from our friendly neighbors to the north. I have personally witnessed the precautions and safety measures that TransCanada upholds to construct and operate their pipeline systems. I can honestly say from a safety standpoint, they are one of the best pipeline operators in our country today. If a pipeline is built right, it is the safest and most economical way to transport any liquid.
With over 13,000 construction jobs and 118,000 spin off jobs hanging in the balance, and an estimated $600 million dollars in new tax revenues for the communities, what better way is there to stimulate the economy? This pipeline comes at a time when we need jobs, friendly oil supplies, and private sector investments in our country. TransCanada has pledged to transport up to 15 percent of this pipeline’s capacity with U.S. oil production to be picked up along its proposed route. This means that Montana and North Dakota oil producers will be able to send their products to market at a more favorable price than they now have.
I understand that as a country we need to look at as many environmentally friendly approaches as possible. Environmental studies show that carbon-dioxide emissions from oil sands are only 2 percent higher than those of the Venezuelan crude currently being refined on our Gulf Coast. I am for reducing our carbon footprint by choosing natural gas powered vehicles, wind power, solar power and nuclear energy, but we cannot get there overnight. From where we sit today, we are committed in the near future to oil. At the present time it makes perfect sense, even “common sense,” to approve the Keystone Pipeline with Canada being the largest supplier of oil to the U.S. We can sit back and watch China buy it and then sell it to us at a much higher cost, or we can put America back to work!