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State Dept. dragging its feet on Keystone XL docs, does it matter?

The chairman of the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Jason Chaffetz, wants the State Department to release statements from other federal agencies regarding whether or not they believe the Keystone XL pipeline project is in the national interest.

It would be really interesting to see what those agencies have to say. But even if that doesn't happen, we already know where the State Department itself stands.

Way back in January of 2014, the U.S. Department of State issued their Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement on the Keystone XL pipeline. In it, they clearly stated that they believed the pipeline would have minimal impact on the environment, while supporting 42,000 jobs for American workers during the construction phase.

That sounds like an ample endorsement to most people. Yet here we are, six years down the road, still waiting on the Obama Administration to give Keystone XL the go-ahead.

Here’s what the House Energy and Commerce Committee thinks about the Keystone XL pipeline. Drop Sec. of State John Kerrey an email and ask him if their opinion gives him reason enough to say yes to this important addition to American energy infrastructure.


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Why Congress Should Lift the Ban

Crude oil exports have become a hot topic in Washington. Members of Congress are considering legislation that would end a 40-year-old export ban that has limited our country’s energy superpower potential.

Merrill Matthews, a scholar with the Institute for Policy Innovation, explains in the pages of The Hill why this ban just doesn’t make sense:

Crude oil has to be refined before people can use it. But refineries aren’t necessarily in the same place the oil is being extracted—especially today when innovative drilling techniques are opening up oil fields around the country.

And even if they were close, that doesn’t mean the refinery is set up to refine the kind of crude being pumped nearby. The Texas Gulf Coast refineries are very good at refining very heavy crude oil, like that being produced in Canada—hence the drive to build the Keystone XL pipeline to ship it down. In some cases it may make more sense to export crude to another country rather than ship it across the U.S. for refining.

He goes on to point out the national security implications of ending the export ban:

Russia, Iran and Venezuela use access to energy as a diplomatic bargaining tool. And they use the profits from those sales to foment mischief in the world. Providing our allies and other countries with an alternative source for their energy needs helps undermine that mischief.

Members of Congress from both parties share these views. And there’s growing momentum to lift the ban. As an Energy Citizens, make sure your member of Congress is on the right side of this important issue.


The U.S. not Iran should be the priority

Congress will vote soon on whether American oil producers get the same deal as Iranians. Is it really fair for Iran to be able to export oil but the U.S. can’t?

Tell your members of Congress to lift the sanctions on U.S. oil! 

The United States is the only advanced nation in the world that prohibits crude exports. Under the new deal with Iran, even it is able to join the global market. But the U.S. oil export ban remains in place. 

This relic of the 1970s is holding our economy back. It’s preventing jobs from being created. It’s keeping prices higher for consumers. It’s hurting America.

Congress can fix these problems and end the export ban. Let your member of Congress know that you want the U.S. to end this outdated law and join the world energy market. 

There is no reason that Iran should get a better deal than America.

We’re missing out…

Why do we continue to deny ourselves cheaper fuel, more jobs, and a stronger economy? Tell Congress – lift the crude oil export ban now!

It doesn’t make sense. By continuing the 40-year-old ban on exporting U.S. crude, Congress is letting us miss out on hundreds of thousands of jobs and making our nation less energy secure.

Not only could lifting the ban create 300,000 jobs, reduce the trade deficit, and increase U.S. energy security – it could save American consumers almost $6 billion a year on fuel!

It’s nonsense that U.S. officials would consider a deal that would allow Iranian crude exports, while continuing to hold our own crude exports back. We must not let this go on. Tell your Members of Congress today – lift the U.S. crude oil export ban: improve American energy security!

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Keystone XL Status Report - More of the Same

Read this article: Gov. Heineman says he’ll take his time studying Keystone XL report.

How much time does will the Governor need to see what has been obvious to Energy Citizens all along – KXL is a crucial piece of U.S. energy infrastructure that would not only help meet our energy demand but also create jobs and grow our economy.

Gov. Heineman doesn’t have to read the whole 2,000-page document. He can just glance at the Executive Summary his own Department of Environmental Quality has prepared. Look at these NDEQ reported findings:

  • Construction and operation of KXL could have minimal environmental impacts in Nebraska.
  • Any impact on aquifers from a release would be localized and Keystone would be responsible for the cleanup.
  • Construction would result in $418.1 million in economic benefits and support up to 4,560 new or existing jobs in Nebraska.
  • The project would generate $16.5 million in use taxes from construction materials and $11 million - $13 million in local property tax revenues in the first year of valuation.

Does it really take a lot of study to say yes to that?

KXL opponents are not wasting any time, of course. They still say no, clinging to their baseless objections to the pipeline.

Energy Citizens have been waiting for Keystone XL for four years now. So we hope Gov. Heineman will send his recommendations to the President before another 4 years pass.

Keystone XL Hearing on Tap After NDEQ Releases Draft Report

A public hearing, preceded by an open house informational session, has been set for December 4 at the County Fairgrounds in Albion, Nebraska. This meeting will give citizens a chance to learn more about and provide input on a 600-page report just released by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality. It covers the environmental, social and economic effects of the Keystone XL pipeline route in NE.

Many Energy Citizens will undoubtedly jump on this opportunity to once again show their support for the Keystone XL pipeline. It is encouraging that the State Department is expected to attend the hearing and we hope that after more than four years of waiting, approval could be just around the corner.

Check out these great pictures of pipe stockpiled in anticipation of KXL construction. It is ready to go, and so are the American people. If you have a chance, go to the meeting in Albion and tell them that.

Jobs in Jeopardy with Keystone XL on Hold

With plenty of backing from hard-core environmental groups, a handful of landowners are suing the State of Nebraska, seeking to block the recently passed law that would pave the way for Keystone XL.

But Gov. Dave Heineman makes it clear that this lawsuit will not stop the process of finding a new, environmentally safe route for the pipeline. As he says, if the state stopped every project every time they got sued, “we’d never get anything done.”

And a company in Georgia is adding workers to support their product line that make oil sands extraction better for the environment. Thousands of Georgia workers could eventually be employed in this industry—the company is still hiring engineers to help with their work.

Energy Citizens in every state are concerned about the long-term economic effects of the Keystone XL delay. The longer we wait, the more jobs we put at risk.

NDEQ Announce Public Hearings on Keystone XL. Join Us Today.

Nebraska's DEQ announced four hearings to discuss the Keystone XL route through the state.  We encourage all Energy Citizens to attend and learn more about the route and why this makes America and Nebraska stronger.  The hearings details are below.  Email us at Renee@energycitizens.org for more information.

Wednesday, May 9th from 4 – 7 PM at the O’Neil Community Center located at 501 S. 4th St.

 

Thursday, May 10th from 4 – 7 PM at the Neligh-Oakdale High School gym located at 600 J St.

 

Wednesday, May 16th from 4 – 7 PM at the Boone County Fairgrounds located at 11th and Fairview Avenue.

 

Thursday, May 17th from 4 – 7 PM at the Central City Community Room located at 1515 17th St.

If approved, the Keystone XL Pipeline will not only provide our nation with much needed energy security, but will also immediately create 20,000 good paying construction jobs. All without cost to the American tax payer.

The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality will soon be holding public hearings in your area to hear from citizens like you about the impact and benefits of building this important pipeline.  

Anti-Keystone XL activists are sure to show up in large numbers at these public hearings on the newly proposed Keystone route. Energy Citizens who care about this important piece of America’s future energy security need to attend as well, to show lawmakers and regulators that most Nebraskans - and other commonsense energy supporters around the nation – want to see the pipeline built.

Do no pass up this opportunity to learn more about the new route and testify on behalf of Keystone XL.

RSVP today and we will contact you with more information on how you can get involved.

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