A dozen organizations submitted a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in support of the Keystone XL pipeline ahead of the March 7 deadline for public comment. In the 10-page letter, the industry groups laid out a comprehensive argument for why the pipeline meets the criteria for the national interest determination mandated by President Barack Obama.
The letter was signed by the American Petroleum Institute (API), the American Fuels and Petrochemical Manufacturers, American Highway Users Alliance, American Iron and Steel Institute, American Trucking Associations, Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL), Canadian-American Business Council, Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), Petroleum Marketers Association of America, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, U.S. Oil & Gas Association and the Western Energy Alliance.
The letter stated: “Is in the best interests of all Americans to build the pipeline to ensure our long-term energy security, a steady and reliable supply of Canadian oil to state-of-the-art U.S. refineries, a sizeable contribution to the U.S. gross domestic product, increased tax revenue, and the creation of thousands of American jobs.
The State Department released its final environmental impact statement on Jan. 31, which showed the project would have no significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions.
“We support the State Department’s findings, which again confirm that Keystone XL will be safe for the environment while creating significant economic value for the United States as a whole and the states through which its route will cross,” the letter continued. “After the most transparent and thorough environmental assessment of a pipeline project’s application, all that remains is to evaluate the national interest criteria and determine that Keystone XL serves our nation’s best interests. As these remaining factors are considered, it will be only more evident that approval is the only decision that is best for Americans and energy security.”
Highlighting key points of the State Department’s final study, the letter pointed to the critical role Canadian oil will continue to play in supplying the U.S. market, despite the growth of domestic oil production, as well as the fact that the Canadian oil sands will be developed regardless of whether Keystone XL is built or not.
In addition, the letter outlined seven criteria that show why Keystone XL warrants approval, including the environmental impacts of the proposed project, the impacts on the diversity of crude oil supply and security of transport pathways to the United States, the impact of cross-border relations with Canada, the stability of various foreign suppliers, the impact on broader foreign policy objectives (i.e., climate change, relations with neighboring countries and energy security), the economic benefits to the United States of constructing and operating the pipeline and finally the relationships between the project and goals to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and to increase use of alternative and renewable energy sources.
“Without question, construction of Keystone XL is in our nation’s interest and the project should be approved immediately,” the letter said. “Keystone XL will result in no significant environmental, climate or cultural impacts, but it will create jobs immediately and significantly contribute to the U.S. economy. Keystone XL will also appreciably enhance the country’s energy security with a safe, secure, and reliable supply from a friendly neighbor. With such positive contributions, we hope that the State Department recognizes that Keystone XL is in clearly in our national interest and recommends swift approval to President Obama.”