The Keystone XL Pipeline is a proposed 1,179 mile, 36-inch-diameter crude oil pipeline that goes through a number of states and provinces on its route south, including Alberta and Saskatchewan in Canada, and Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska in the U.S. Along with transporting crude oil from Canada, the Keystone XL Pipeline will transport oil from producers in Texas, Oklahoma, Montana and North Dakota.
Building awareness of the need for smart policy about our land and waters and how drilling impacts them isn’t an easy sell in a state whose residents continue to derive so much personal financial benefit from the oil and gas industry.
In the matter of Keystone, the environmental lobby is just plain wrong, as it is a safe and needed addition to America’s network of pipelines that gets oil to market. And there is precious little evidence to the contrary.
Until alternative fuel sources become competitive in availability and cost with our existing carbon-based mainstream supply, we have little choice but to rely on fossil fuels. This pesky fact just can’t be denied. Surely, we hope that time will come sooner rather than later, and we heartily support government funding of innovation to speed arrival of that day. But even the most knowledgeable and enthusiastic of environmentalists know that day is not right around the corner.
In the meantime, regardless of the worldwide climate crisis in which we’re fully engaged, it’s in our collective interest to facilitate America’s relentless need for the oil that runs our cars, heats and cools our homes and powers our factories. The Keystone will facilitate this by getting oil extracted from the buried sands of our friendly Canadian neighbor, down to our U.S. refineries to be converted to gasoline and related products.
Recent, objective studies show Keystone to be the safest, most environmentally secure and least expensive means to get the product to market. And now that the U.S. State Department has announced it found no major basis to oppose the project after an intensive and long-awaited review, it’s time for President Obama to provide his needed seal of approval.