CEA today urged the Obama Administration to swiftly approve the Keystone XL pipeline given the large economic and national security benefits the project will provide.

GRAND ISLAND, NE – Michael Whatley, Executive Vice President of Consumer Energy Alliance, provided comments supporting the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline today at the U.S. State Department’s Public Hearing on the project and the agency’s environmental review. As part of those comments, Whatley made the following statement:

“CEA strongly supports the Keystone XL pipeline because of the economic benefits it will provide – not only to Nebraska, but for the nation as a whole.  According to a recent study by well-respected Nebraskan economist Ernie Goss, the pipeline will support an average of 916 new direct and indirect jobs in Nebraska per year between 2013 and 2029 with a peak of 5,514 jobs during the two-year construction period.  Even more, this project will generate over $1.8 billion worth of economic activity in the state, including over $58 million in property taxes.  That’s a lot of money that will go to improving Nebraska’s public schools, roads, and hospitals.

“The Keystone XL Pipeline project will also strengthen our national energy security.  Canada is our neighbor, our ally, and our largest trading partner.  The 830,000 barrels of oil per day that this pipeline will bring to GulfCoast refineries will be coming from places like Montana, the Dakotas and Canada. It is not subject to violent revolutions and chronic instability present in Venezuela and the Middle East. It cannot be used as a political tool like Russian oil can. It is highly discounted from the prices we pay for oil from the Persian Gulf and will help drive down fuel prices for both our military and American drivers.

“Not only will the pipeline bring great economic and energy security benefits to Nebraska and the United States, it will do so without harming our water or our environment. The State Department’s extensive environmental review of the pipeline once again concludes that the pipeline will not adversely affect the local environment. Pipelines remain the safest and most energy-efficient means of transporting fuel. Currently, over 2.6 million miles of pipeline crisscross the United States, delivering oil and natural gas safely to millions of American consumers. Fortunately, Keystone XL will be built will state-of-the-art technology and will be the safest pipeline constructed in the United States.

“Given these facts, it’s not surprising that a majority of Americans support the project. A recent Pew Research poll found that 66% of the American public supports the project, support which “spans most demographic and partisan groups.”

“In closing, I am asking – on behalf of energy consumers nationwide – for the Obama Administration to swiftly finalize its review process and grant the Presidential Permit to allow construction of this vital infrastructure.”