Are the president and secretary of state opposed to national interests and prosperity?

By The West Virginia Record | Aug 30, 2013

It’s hard to overstate the contribution the Keystone XL Pipeline could make to the revitalization of our economy and security of our nation.

The $12 billion pipeline would transport tar sands crude oil from Canada to U.S. refineries along the Gulf Coast and add more than $20 billion to our economy. Construction of the pipeline would create more than 15,000 high-paying jobs for American citizens.

But that’s just the beginning. Investment in Canadian oil sands and subsequent production could generate as many as 350,000 new American jobs in the next five years and add up to $34 billion to our gross domestic product.

The national security benefits are also significant. Canada is already our top oil supplier and a friendly neighbor. More oil from Canada means less from other places. Lessening our dependence on oil from unreliable foreign sources will allow us to reduce the portion of our defense budget dedicated to protecting access to those sources and to minimize or suspend our subsidization of the economies of unfriendly foreign powers.

What’s holding up the launch of this eminently worthy project? Approval from the U.S. State Department. Because it crosses national boundaries, the pipeline project has to have the Department’s approval. It’s been waiting for that approval for five years now.

Four environmental impact assessments have reached the same conclusion: the project will be environmentally-friendly. A majority of Congress and two-thirds of the American people support the pipeline. All that’s lacking is John Kerry’s approval.

West Virginia’s Patrick Morrisey recently joined 20 other state attorneys general in petitioning the Secretary of State to approve this project.

Morrisey and his peers emphasized that construction of the pipeline would “reduce dependence on oil imports from suppliers who are inherently unstable, shield our country from threats to its security, and assure and sustain America’s economic recovery.”

How could Secretary Kerry and President Obama possibly be opposed to that?

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