Bipartisan Pitch: Top 10 Reasons to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline

By Penny Starr | March 28, 2014 | 7:11 PM EDT

Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) (Photo courtesy of Hoeven's press office)

( – "“We have everything to gain" by building the Keystone XL pipeline -- and "there is no reason why the United States should pass up this opportunity, " Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, told a press conference on Wednesday.

The West Virginia senator and two Republicans announced a joint effort with other domestic energy advocates to finally get the federal government to approve the Keystone XL pipeline to “secure America’s economic and national security.”

Sens. Manchin and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) -- along with Vets4Energy Adviser Rear Adm. Don Loren, American Petroleum Institute President/CEO Jack Gerard, Canadian Ambassador to the United States Gary Doer and Executive Vice President of TransCanada Alex Pourbaix -- offered their Top-10 reasons the pipeline should be approved.

(10) The American people support the Keystone XL pipeline by a margin of three to one.

(9) The State Department’s final Environmental Impact Study (EIS) released at the end of January showed no significant environmental impact.

(8) The (State Dept.’s Inspector General’s) report cleared and found no conflict of interest by contractor conducting review.

(7) Keystone XL needed infrastructure; we’re seeing more congestion and accidents around the country that have occurred by trying to move crude by rail.

(6) The situation in Europe -- Russia’s influence/strength relative to Ukraine and EU is energy.

(5) Keystone XL project has strong bipartisan support in Congress.

(4) Our greatest friend and ally Canada is putting more pressure on the (Obama) administration to support Keystone XL project.

(3) Keystone XL project will create more jobs, including good jobs for U.S. veterans.

(2) Keystone XL project will create more economic growth.

(1) Keystone XL will help produce more energy, creating national energy independence, stronger national security, and a stronger nation.

“The Keystone XL pipeline gives us the opportunity to buy oil from one of our greatest trading partners and our ally: Canada,” Manchin said. “There is no reason why the United States should pass up this opportunity, especially after multiple studies have shown that there is no damaging environmental impact.

“We have everything to gain by building this pipeline, because it not only addresses energy security and limits our dependence on foreign oil, but it would help create thousands of jobs right here at home,” Manchin said.

“Seeing how Ukraine and the European Union are dependent on Russia for energy, our delegation saw firsthand the importance of energy security,” said Hoeven, who recently returned from a Senate trip to the region. “Projects that boost North American energy production like the Keystone XL pipeline are a key not only to creating jobs and a dynamic economy, but also to keeping our nation and our people safe.

“The bottom line is – energy security is national security,” Hoeven said.

“In WWII, we conquered Nazi Germany in a little over four years,” Terry said. “But here we are, five years after the permits have been filed to build the Keystone XL Pipeline, and we’re still waiting.

“Our veterans have shown true leadership in accomplishing greater things in less time,” Terry said. “After over five years, it’s time to build the Keystone XL pipeline.”

“The prolonged review of the pipeline continues to deprive thousands of Americans of good-paying jobs and the nation of a vital piece of energy infrastructure,” Gerard said. “The time for study is over.”

Ambassador Doer said that, in fact, the pipeline would reduce pollution by eliminating the need for the crude oil to be transported by rail or trucks.

“The State Department has reported that the pipeline would be safer and produce less [greenhouse gases] than alternative modes of transportation,” Doer said.

Keystone is a proposed 1,179-mile 36-inch diameter pipeline that will transport crude oil from Hardisty, Alberta, Canada to Steele City, Neb., according to the website of TransCanada, the company in charge of the project.

“Along with transporting crude oil from Canada, the Keystone XL Pipeline will also support the significant growth of crude oil production in the United States from producers in the Bakken region of Montana and North Dakota,” the explanation on the company’s website stated.