Keystone XL's Construction is Good for U.S., U.S. Energy
Posted April 2, 2020
TC Energy’s announcement that it will proceed with building the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline is a big deal in terms of vital energy for America, jobs, economic growth and North American security. The 1,210-mile pipeline – able to safely deliver 830,000 barrels per day from Canada’s oil sands region in Alberta to the U.S. heartland – figures to be a significant, long-awaited progress toward helping secure this country’s future energy needs.
I say “long-awaited” because my first API writing assignment was about the KXL – nearly nine years ago!
Over that time the pipeline became a political football – a debate in which the basic facts were mostly incontestable:
- Thousands of good jobs during KXL’s construction.
- Tens of millions of dollars in property and income tax revenues to different levels of government.
- No significant effect on the climate or environment, according to the U.S. State Department, which conducted six comprehensive scientific reviews.
“This project has been studied for well over a decade and will bring billions of dollars in investment to the American economy as well as thousands of high-paying jobs. Even during this challenging and unprecedented time, our industry is leading the way and showing just why we are and will continue to be the backbone of our economy.”
TC Energy President and CEO Russ Girling said the pipeline builder’s commitment to safety and working with property owners and state and local officials and others goes on:
“During construction, we will continue to take guidance from all levels of government and health authorities to determine the most proactive and responsible actions in order to ensure the safety of our crews and community members during the current COVID-19 situation. Construction will advance only after every consideration for the health and safety of our people, their families and of those in the surrounding communities has been taken into account.”
Keystone XL, which is expected to begin delivering crude oil in 2023, represents an important down payment on North America’s energy security. The United States will be more closely engaged with friend and neighbor Canada, our leading supplier of imported oil, a relationship that’s mutually beneficial. For every dollar the U.S. spent in 2019 on imports from Canada, more than 90 cents were returned from U.S. exports sold to Canada. The pipeline is significant infrastructure that will help the U.S. and its North American neighbors, through two-way energy flows, to share in growth and energy security as the three-country market moves closer to self-sufficiency.
As TC Energy begins work in the U.S. Midwest this month, it’s a reminder that this nation’s energy needs and the infrastructure that delivers that energy should be carefully considered and safely developed in a timely manner – not held up endlessly by bureaucratic processes. Infrastructure is vital to U.S. energy security and must be allowed to proceed after reasonable discussion, review and permitting.
For example, there’s an effort under way to modernize review processes directed by the current National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which we’ve discussed here, here and here. NEPA hasn’t been updated since 1978, and the U.S. cannot fully and efficiently harness the benefits of its global energy leadership without NEPA reform.
As for the KXL pipeline, it certainly has been one long, winding road. It’s good to see this long-awaited, important project emerge from the drawing board and move closer to becoming a reality. Girling:
“We appreciate the ongoing backing of landowners, customers, Indigenous groups and numerous partners in the U.S. and Canada who helped us secure project support and key regulatory approvals as this important energy infrastructure project is poised to put thousands of people to work, generate substantial economic benefits and strengthen the continent’s energy security.”
About The Author
Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Previously, Mark was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor at an assortment of newspapers. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela have two grown children and six grandchildren.
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