The new Congress has made approval of the Keystone XL pipeline one of its top priorities, with both the House and Senate moving forward with legislation to finally get this long overdue project underway.
But Keystone detractors are not giving up, still dismissing the jobs it would create as “temporary” and contending that now, with oil prices in decline, we don’t need the fuel.
They could not be more wrong, on both counts.
The privately funded Keystone XL pipeline will create jobs—thousands of them. The U.S. State Department puts the number at 42,000, most of them in construction and manufacturing.
Temporary jobs? Don’t tell that to construction workers who feed their families with a succession of project-dependent, short-term jobs similar to what Keystone XL would offer. Construction jobs are by nature temporary; that’s why we need to keep approving projects like this pipeline. The last permanent construction job was building the pyramids.
As for no longer needing oil sands crude, the relatively abundant supplies of fuel we currently have cannot be viewed as permanent. The only constant in the business of meeting America’s energy demand is change. Waiting until energy supplies run short to build a pipeline system capable of bringing Canadian crude to U.S. refineries is a shortsighted, risky strategy.
Building the Keystone XL pipeline will put Americans to work and increase U.S. energy security. Congress is doing the right thing and we all need to support their efforts, especially in light of a threatened Obama veto of pro-Keystone XL legislation.