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Cindy Schild's remarks at press briefing teleconference on Keystone XL

As prepared for delivery

Press briefing teleconference on Keystone XL
Cindy Schild, API Downstream Operations Senior Manager, Refining and Oil Sands
September 16, 2014

Opening statement:

Good afternoon, morning. Thanks for calling in.

This week marks six years since the initial permit application was filed for the Keystone XL pipeline. A pipeline that, by all measures, will increase our energy, national and economic security.

In those six years, more than 10,000 miles of oil and natural gas pipeline have been built in the U.S. That’s enough pipe to cross the country nearly four times. But for Keystone XL, what should have been a routine approval process lasting less than two years has been politicized into six years of squandered opportunity.

Keystone XL is just as important today as it was six years ago. New crises overseas make clear the value of securing a stable, reliable supply of energy from our own domestic production and from Canada. The 830,000 barrels of oil per day Keystone XL will transport from Canada and the U.S. Bakken region will move the U.S. considerably closer to the ability to supply 100 percent of our liquid fuels needs from right here in North America within 10 years.

The nation’s labor community, which still faces unemployment rates above the national average, would greatly benefit from the 42,000 jobs Keystone XL would generate during the construction period – as would the overall economy. The pipeline would support economic growth well beyond construction jobs -- contributing $3.4 billion to the U.S. economy overall and supporting $3.1 billion in construction contracts and materials.

Support from the American public remains strong. Polling earlier this year found that 70 percent of voters support building Keystone XL, while 78 percent agree the pipeline would strengthen America’s economic security, national security and energy security. Sixty-eight percent report they would be more likely to support a candidate who supports approving Keystone XL, including 60 percent of Democrats.

By refusing to let Keystone XL move forward, the Obama administration is catering to a small minority at the expense of America’s national interest and the wishes of the vast majority of ordinary Americans. Five exhaustive studies over the course of six years have repeatedly affirmed Keystone XL is safe for the environment and hugely beneficial for the economy. By contrast, the administration is ready to move forward after only 120 days of comments on the EPA’s sweeping proposed rules for power plant emissions – some of the most complex and far-reaching energy regulations ever.

The Keystone XL pipeline has now been under review longer than it took to win World War II, to build the Hoover Dam, or to paint the Sistine Chapel. The governor of every state along the proposed route supports moving forward – including Nebraska. The sole question before the State Department remains “Is the Keystone XL pipeline in the national interest of the United States?” The overwhelming evidence of six years says “yes,” and so do bipartisan majorities of the American people. If President Obama will not exercise leadership on Keystone XL, Congress must act.

Thank you. Now, I’ll be happy to take your questions.