Building Keystone Benefits the Fourth District

January 24, 2015
Editorial

Building Keystone Benefits the Fourth District

As the new representative for Michigan’s Fourth Congressional District, one of the first votes I cast was in support of building the Keystone XL pipeline. Building this pipeline would create jobs, expand economic opportunity and provide Americans with a more stable source of energy, coming from a friendlier and more reliable trading partner than many of our nation’s other sources of oil.

Pipelines already transport oil safely and reliably across the United States, and we have seen the benefit at the pump with lower gas prices letting us spend more money on others goods and services we want to enjoy. Refined products that come from oil go into thousands of goods produced and purchased by Americans every day. Michigan residents will benefit from more affordable products when they shop. Manufacturers and farmers in Michigan will have access to less expensive oil.

A bipartisan coalition of legislators and organizations supports construction of Keystone. The U.S. House passed Keystone legislation with the support of 238 Republicans and 28 Democrats. Last year, a bill in the Senate had 59 votes, with 47 Republicans and 12 Democrats. Business leaders and labor organizations support Keystone construction because they know that it means more good-paying jobs for their hard-working employees. It is estimated that Keystone will bring 800,000 barrels of oil per day to market and provide domestic energy security for consumers and businesses.

Unfortunately, the construction of Keystone has continually been blocked by the Obama administration. The State Department has done five studies of the Keystone project and concluded that it is the safest way to transport oil from western Canada through America. News reports have noted that Canada will produce oil whether or not Keystone is built. If it is built, the crude oil will be safely refined at American facilities that are equipped to process the oil in an environmentally sound way. If the pipeline is not built, news reports state the oil will be shipped to China and refined where environmental protections are not as strong. The pipeline is the safest method of transporting oil to market and we should trust hard-working Americans with handling it.

The Keystone XL Pipeline is a much-needed infrastructure project for our nation’s energy security and our economy. The Obama Administration has repeatedly called for more infrastructure spending, but it is now blocking a critical project that is scientifically sound and supported by its own agencies. It’s time to approve the Keystone Pipeline and begin constructing a project that will benefit all Americans.