The Edmond Sun

Opinion

February 13, 2014

Build the Keystone oil pipeline

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Building the Canada-to-U.S. Keystone XL oil pipeline is more than a choice about energy. It’s a choice about keeping America strong and secure and maintaining its place as a world leader.

The pipeline, which needs approval from the Obama administration to be built, is an opportunity to strengthen our nation’s economy and energy future. It can help the economy by providing new jobs — including thousands of new jobs to build and operate the pipeline and more than 100,000 new long-term U.S. jobs linked to increased oil sands development in Canada.

Once tied to the southern leg of the line, it can strengthen our energy future by delivering more domestic and Canadian crude oil to our nation’s Gulf Coast refineries, which would reduce oil imports from less secure parts of the world. With the pipeline, crude oil imports from Canada could reach 4 million barrels a day by 2030 — or twice what we import from the Persian Gulf.

The project has been studied and debated for more than five years. The polls show the vast majority of the public believes it’s a good idea. The states the pipeline would go through want it. Business leaders and labor unions support it. A bipartisan majority in Congress favors it. And five reviews by the U.S. Department of State conclude that the project would have a negligible impact to the environment and be built to be safer than any other to date.

Our nation once didn’t hesitate to undertake ambitious projects like the multi-billion dollar, privately funded Keystone XL project. A great industrial nation makes big investments in infrastructure because a strong infrastructure is the basis for a strong economy. Roads, bridges, airports, ports and telecommunications lines and satellites, as well as other infrastructure Americans build and operate put people to work, promote trade and commerce, and provide essential services.

They help us generate the economic resources we need to fund education, law enforcement, the arts and the most capable military in the world.

Energy infrastructure matters because energy powers our factories, homes and schools and is the lifeblood of transportation. We need refineries, electric utilities, nuclear plants, solar and wind turbines to produce energy. We need other infrastructure to deliver it, including cost-efficient pipelines to move crude oil to our refineries — and gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other oil products to consumers across America.

But why invest in oil infrastructure at all? Why not just replace oil with alternatives?

The fact is we need and will need both. We need the Keystone XL and other oil infrastructure because oil remains important. Along with natural gas, it supplies more than 60 percent of America’s energy and is a catalyst for economic growth, supporting more than nine million jobs. Moreover, in 2040 the government says, oil and natural gas will still provide more than 60 percent of our energy. And that’s true even with nearly 40 percent growth in renewables, in which the U.S. oil and natural gas industry is a major investor.

This energy reality — and the fact that we could be producing at home more of the oil and natural gas we’ll be consuming rather than importing it — is why the industry continues to invest in new oil and natural gas development. The United States now produces more natural gas than any other country and within seven years could surpass Saudi Arabia in oil production, according to the International Energy Agency. In a world that still depends on oil and natural gas, this is a competitive and geopolitical advantage.

Since the first oil well was drilled in Pennsylvania in 1859, the United States has been a leader on energy. That leadership has helped keep our nation prosperous and strong. To remain a leader, we must continue to invest in oil and natural gas as well as other forms of energy and continue to invest in the infrastructure that supports that development.

The Keystone XL pipeline is needed. Build it and we put Americans to work and grow our economy. Build it and we strengthen the security of our energy supplies. Build it and we show ourselves and the world we still can undertake the big projects that are crucial to American success. The industry is ready to start construction. All that’s needed is for the administration to agree with the American people that this pipeline is right for the nation by giving it the go-ahead.

JACK GERARD is president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute. Gen. Jim Jones is a former national security adviser. Readers may write to them at American Petroleum Institute, 1220 L Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20005.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Why poverty across the world matters to Americans

    A child starving in South Sudan should matter to Americans. That was the message delivered last week by Nancy Lindborg, whose job at the U.S. Agency for International Development is to lead a federal bureau spreading democracy and humanitarian assistance across the world.
    That world has reached a critical danger zone, with three high-level crises combining military conflict with humanitarian catastrophes affecting millions of innocents in Syria, the South Sudan and the Central African Republic.
    But back to that child.

    April 18, 2014

  • Government leadership complicit in overfilling prisons

    One of the thorniest problems facing any society is the question of what to do with transgressors. Obviously, the more complicated a culture becomes, the more factors come into play in trying to figure out what to do with those who choose not to “play by the rules.”

    April 18, 2014

  • My best days are ones normal people take for granted

    It is a weekend for working around the house. My fiancee, Erin, and I have the baby’s room to paint and some IKEA furniture to assemble. I roll out of bed early — 10:30 — and get into my wheelchair. Erin is already making coffee in the kitchen.
    “I started the first wall,” she says. “I love that gray.” Erin never bugs me about sleeping late. For a few months after I was injured in the Boston Marathon bombings, I often slept 15 hours a day. The doctors said my body needed to heal. It must still be healing because I hardly ever see 8 a.m. anymore.

    April 18, 2014

  • Instead of mothballing Navy ships, give them to our allies

    A bitter debate has raged in the Pentagon for several months about the wisdom of taking the nuclear aircraft carrier George Washington out of service to save money. The Washington, at 24 years old a relatively young vessel, is due for a costly refit, a routine procedure that all of the 11 large carriers in service undergo regularly.

    April 18, 2014

  • The pessimist’s guide to grizzly bears and Earth Day

    This coming Friday, to “celebrate Earth Day,” the Walt Disney Co. will release one of those cutesy, fun-for-all-ages, nature documentaries. “Bears” is about grizzly bears.
    The trailer says, “From DisneyNature comes a story that all parents share. About the love, the joy, the struggle and the strength it takes to raise a family.”
    Talk about your misguided “Hollywood values.” I previously have acknowledged a morbid, unreasonable fear of grizzly bears, stemming from a youth misspent reading grisly grizzly-attack articles in Readers Digest. This fear is only morbid and unreasonable because I live about 1,500 miles from the nearest wild grizzly bear. Still. ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Digging out of the CIA-Senate quagmire

    Last week, the Senate Intelligence Committee, led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., voted to declassify parts of its report on the CIA’s rendition, detention and interrogation program. The White House, the CIA and the Senate still have to negotiate which portions of the report will be redacted before it is made public. But this is an important step in resolving the ugly dispute that has erupted between the intelligence committee and the intelligence agency.
    The dispute presents two very serious questions. Was the program consistent with American values and did it produce valuable intelligence? And is effective congressional oversight of secret activities possible in our democracy?

    April 15, 2014

  • Los Angeles Times: Congress extend jobless benefits again

    How’s this for irony: Having allowed federal unemployment benefits to run out in December, some lawmakers are balking at a bill to renew them retroactively because it might be hard to figure out who should receive them. Congress made this task far harder than it should have been, but the technical challenges aren’t insurmountable. Lawmakers should restore the benefits now and leave them in place until the unemployment rate reaches a more reasonable level.

    April 14, 2014

  • Many nations invested in Israel

    Former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Yoram Ettinger recently spoke to a gathering at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life and Learning in Oklahoma City. The event began with a presentation by Rabbi Ovadia Goldman, who told the attendee that the  upcoming Jewish holiday of Passover was an occasion for them to embrace the children of God, which is all of humanity.

    April 14, 2014

  • Coming soon: More ways to get to know your doctor

    Last week, the federal government released a massive database capable of providing patients with much more information about their doctors.
    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the government agency that runs Medicare, is posting on its website detailed information about how many visits and procedures individual health professionals billed the program for in 2012, and how much they were paid.
    This new trove of data, which covers 880,000 health professionals, adds to a growing body of information available to patients who don’t want to leave choosing a doctor to chance. But to put that information to good use, consumers need to be aware of what is available, what’s missing and how to interpret it.

    April 14, 2014

  • HEY HINK: Hateful bullies attempt to muffle free speech

    Hopefully we agree it should be a fundamental right to voice criticism of any religion you wish. And you should have the right to sing the praises of any religion you choose. If criticism of religion is unjust, feel free to make your best argument to prove it. If criticism is just, don’t be afraid to acknowledge and embrace it. If songs of praise are merited, feel free to join in. If not, feel free to ignore them. But no American should participate in curbing free speech just because expression of religious views makes someone uncomfortable.

    April 11, 2014

Poll

Do you agree with a state budget proposal that takes some funds away from road and bridge projects to ramp up education funding by $29.85 million per year until schools are receiving $600 million more a year than they are now? In years in which 1 percent revenue growth does not occur in the general fund, the transfer would not take place.

Agree
Disagree
Undecided
     View Results