Nearly 170 billion barrels of Canadian oil sands fuel could be recovered economically with today’s technology — 20 percent by mining and 80 percent through drilling and steam injection. Much of this oil is already pipelined to the Midwest. Far more could move from Alberta to Texas if the Environmental Protection Agency, State Department and White House finally approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman has approved that state’s portion of Keystone, saying its revised route avoids areas that critics had earlier claimed were too environmentally sensitive. All six states along the proposed 2,000-mile route now support the pipeline. Fifty-three U.S. senators have signed a bipartisan letter, urging President Obama to approve the $7 billion project, which has already been studied for four years.
Keystone would create an estimated 20,000 construction, equipment and service jobs in Nebraska and other states during the building phase. Over the next 20 years, it would support up to 465,000 more jobs in the 2,000 American companies that already support oil sands operations or utilize the hydrocarbons in motor fuel, petrochemical manufacturing and other industries, while generating hundreds of billions in sales, employee wages and gross domestic product — and tens of billions in federal, state and local property, sales and income taxes.
In short, Keystone and oil sands are essential if we are to put Americans back to work, reduce budget deficits and pay for Obamacare, Medicare, Social Security, defense and other programs.
Approval should be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, radical environmental groups are determined to sabotage the pipeline. Their assertions underscore how desperate, ideologically driven, intellectually bankrupt and indifferent to the jobs and welfare of average Americans they have become.
Read more at The Washington Times. By Paul Driessen.