U.S. Failure to Approve Keystone Pipeline Strains Canada/U.S. Economic Relationship

The United States has failed our Canadian partners by stalling the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would transport synthetic crude oil from the oil sands in Alberta to refiners in the southern United States.

Despite the strong support of the Canadian government, U.S. business leaders, and many labor groups, the Obama Administration has done everything possible to indefinitely delay the construction plan; all while the project has been carefully prodded, examined, and dissected, and been found to be environmentally sound. 

Now a recent poll from the American Petroleum Institute (API) shows that public opinion is likewise overwhelmingly on the side of industry and jobs. Eight out of 10 Americans support expanding the nation’s energy infrastructure with new pipelines and other facilities to transport oil and gas across the U.S., according to the results of the poll released last week.

The poll, conducted by Harris Interactive for the API, also shows a majority of people support the Keystone XL pipeline. Seven out of 10 people surveyed said they supported the building of the Keystone XL pipeline, with 17 percent opposed to the $5.4 billion investment.

The U.S. State Department is readying yet another environmental impact statement on the proposed pipeline. “We have no reason to believe that this won’t come out like the studies before and find that the project is environmentally sound,” said Stephanie Catarino Wissman, Executive Director of API-PA. The API is leading a coalition of business, labor, and consumer groups working for approval of the project.

But a new twist might further delay, or even give the Obama Administration cover to abolish the project altogether, regardless of the outcome of the latest State Department review.

The State Department's watchdog has opened an inquiry into whether a contractor the department hired to perform the environmental review of the Keystone XL oil pipeline had a conflict of interest. If the Department is now investigating it's own review, it signals potential trouble ahead for the project. U.S. House Democrats jumped on the news and asked the Administration to further delay the review.

“Five years of unnecessary delay have already cost us millions in lost revenue and thousands of jobs. The continuing bad faith of the Obama Administration will eventually leave our Canadian partners no choice but to sell their energy to customers overseas,” said David N. Taylor, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association. “Further integrating the Canadian energy economy with the American industrial economy is in the manifest national interest of both countries. The Keystone XL would create jobs on both sides of the border, power our economies, and dramatically enhance the North American energy economy.  Canadian energy for American industry is the pro-growth policy for our mutual prosperity.  Hillary Clinton had her chance, so now the only thing holding us up is John Kerry’s autograph. It’s past time to end this embarrassing impasse and get back to work.”

Click here (http://www.bipac.net/issue_alert.asp?g=pma&issue=keystone2&parent=PMA) to write letters to your members of Congress asking them to urge the Obama Administration to approve the Keystone XL pipeline extension. A copy of your letter will also be sent to the White House.