OTTAWA, Nov. 10, 2011 /CNW/ - It's deeply disappointing that the U.S
State Department decided today to stall a decision on the Keystone XL
Pipeline, supposedly because new route options, particularly in
Nebraska, need to be investigated. There are currently almost 21,000
miles of pipelines crossing Nebraska already - 3,000 miles of which
carry crude oil. Many of these pipelines are within areas overlying the
TransCanada has worked with the State Department for the past three
years to ensure Keystone XL would be the safest oil pipeline ever
built, and the State Department's own study, released just three months
ago, showed that the environmental impacts would be manageable, with
alternative routes having stronger environmental consequences for the
environment. What else needs to be studied?
The New York Times was blunt in describing what drove the
administration's decision: "The proposed project ... had put President
Obama in a political vise, squeezed between demands for secure energy
sources and the jobs the project will bring, and the loud opposition of
environmental advocates who have threatened to withhold electoral
support next year if he approves it."
Hence the decision to make no decision until after next year's
Keystone XL is shovel-ready. TransCanada is poised to put 20,000
Americans to work to construct the pipeline - pipe fitters, welders,
mechanics, electricians, heavy equipment operators, then list goes on.
Local businesses along the pipeline route will benefit from the 118,000
spin-off jobs Keystone XL will create through increased business for
local restaurants, hotels and suppliers. You'd think that a project
that would use private money create this many jobs and make the U.S.
less dependent on unstable middle-eastern or Venezuelan supplies would
make a good deal of sense, particularly at a time when the U.S.
desperately needs to get people back to work.
However, when good policy collides with politics, good policy too often
There is no doubt that the rich energy supplies from Canada's oil sands
will be brought to market. The only question now is whether the U.S.
will be among the beneficiaries.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the vital connection between
business and the federal government. It helps shape public policy and
decision-making to the benefit of businesses, communities and families
across Canada with a network of over 420 chambers of commerce and
boards of trade, representing 192,000 businesses of all sizes in all
sectors of the economy and in all regions. News and information are
available at www.chamber.ca or follow us on Twitter @CdnChamberofCom.
SOURCE Canadian Chamber of Commerce, The
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