As you get ready for the Fourth of July holiday, you may have missed several new editorials supporting the Keystone XL pipeline.
Over the past few weeks, editorial boards from Chicago to Billings, Montana have responded to President Obama’s declaration that the approval of Keystone XL hinges on a finding that the pipeline will not significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions – of course, his Administration has already shown that Keystone XL won’t increase emissions on more than one occasion.
These editorials are the latest to join in the overwhelming support for Keystone XL we’ve seen from newspapers across the country, as we’ve noted before here and here.
As the Chicago Tribune rightly states, after nearly five years of review, “the case is ready to be closed”: it’s time to approve Keystone XL and put Americans to work.
Chicago Tribune Editorial: “Will Obama OK the Keystone pipeline? The case for approving the pipeline” (6/29): “The State Department, which is charged with evaluating the Keystone project because it crosses the U.S.-Canada border, has already made an early determination on the pollution impact. The agency said in a draft review released in March that Keystone would ‘not likely result in significant adverse environmental effects.’ In May, the department posted the first of more a million public comments responding to its report. It continues to review the application and reportedly will wrap up in time for an announcement in the fall. The 2,000-page draft report shows, convincingly, that the president’s condition has been satisfied. The case is ready to be closed. Let’s start putting people to work laying pipe.”
Billings Gazette Editorial: “Keystone XL project satisfies Obama’s carbon criteria” (6/30): “The pipeline is proposed to carry bitumen from the Alberta oil sands development through Eastern Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska and Oklahoma on its way to Texas Gulf Coast refineries. The project is important and beneficial for Montana because it will increase the tax base for the state and several counties and provide an on-ramp to transport Bakken oil to market. The pipeline also would create a lot of construction jobs, and a small number of permanent jobs. It would give Eastern Montana an economic boost during construction as work crews spend time and money along the pipeline route. With proposed conditions to protect public health and safety, the Keystone pipeline would be the best way to get Canada’s oil sands to market. The U.S. State Department’s review has already established that this pipeline won’t significantly increase carbon emissions. This oil is going to market one way or the other. If the pipeline isn’t built, more oil will travel on trucks and rail or on ships.”
Investor’s Business Daily Editorial: “Obama’s Carbon Scam Jeopardizes Keystone Jobs” (6/26): “The president said Tuesday the pipeline from Canada should be built if the State Department finds it will not add to carbon pollution and is in our national interest. But State already has — twice […] Keystone XL also met 57 specific pipeline safety-standard requirements created by the State Department and the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). The fact is, we are building new pipelines all the time. Between 2004 and 2011, the U.S. laid enough new oil and gas pipelines to stretch three quarters of the way to the moon. In seven years, the U.S. laid more than 180,000 miles of new pipelines, the PHMSA says.”
The U.S. has an opportunity to move toward energy independence by green-lighting the remaining portion of Keystone XL. If not, Canada has already made clear that if the U.S. chooses not to avail itself of Canadian energy resources, bitumen would likely find its way to barges at western seaports destined for China. Transportation by pipeline is 530% safer than by rail on a ton-mile of freight basis, and nearly 50,000% safer than truck by the same measure. After more than four years of government studies, it is time to declare Keystone XL fit for duty.