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Marty Durbin's remarks at press briefing teleconference on Keystone XL

As prepared for delivery

Press briefing teleconference on Keystone XL
Marty Durbin, API executive vice president
November 15, 2012

Opening statement:


Good morning, everyone. Thanks for calling in.

President Obama campaigned on job creation and on an all-of-the-above energy strategy, including more oil and natural gas. And our exit polls last week showed that’s where voters are as well:

  • 73% support more American production of oil and natural gas
  • 91% believe that production will lead to more American jobs, and
  • 75% support building the Keystone XL Pipeline

So as the president looks for opportunities to provide a quick boost to the economy and strengthen our energy security, we again urge him to approve the full Keystone XL Pipeline as soon as possible.

As Nebraska completes its process of identifying a new route through that state, we encourage the administration to quickly proceed with approval of the necessary cross-border permit. Here are a few reasons why this should be an easy decision:

  • Aside from the Nebraska portion, no changes have been made to the project (a project that was given a clean bill of health in three separate and comprehensive environmental reviews by the State Department), and TransCanada has agreed to 57 special conditions to further enhance the safety of the pipeline; 
  • Thousands of good paying jobs will immediately be available for the building trades – the safest, most highly skilled workforce, and a sector that is suffering through a stubbornly high unemployment rate near 12%;
  • The crude arriving from Canada will be processed in American refineries – some of the cleanest, most efficient refineries in the world – who have each invested billions to be able to process heavier crudes such as that coming from Canada. So this project will also support thousands of good-paying American refinery jobs as well;
  • Canada is a strong, stable and reliable energy partner. Already our largest source of imported oil, every dollar we spend in Canada returns nearly 90 cents in goods and services;

Through greater utilization of Canadian oil sands, we have an important opportunity to create jobs, generate government revenue, and strengthen our energy security – and Keystone XL is a critical part of the necessary infrastructure. And let’s not forget that the pipeline will also provide the means to get more of the production from North Dakota, Montana and elsewhere to market, providing enormous consumer benefit.

The government’s own projections show that oil and natural gas will continue to provide a majority of our energy for decades to come. So if we have an opportunity to source more of that energy from right here in North America while creating jobs and generating government revenue, approving the Keystone XL pipeline should be an easy decision.

Given the project had the support of bipartisan majorities in both the House and Senate, the president should give voters what they asked for and approve the project at the earliest possible opportunity.

Thanks, and now I’m happy to take your questions.

  • Marty Durbin
  • Jobs
  • Keystone XL
  • Oil Sands