Sunday, October 23 , 2016, 11:07 pm | Overcast 60º

  • Follow Noozhawk on LinkedIn
  • Follow Noozhawk on Pinterest
  • Follow Noozhawk on YouTube

Tom Donohue: Make Keystone XL Pipeline an American Success Story

In the same amount of time that the Keystone XL pipeline application has been under review by the Obama administration, the Hoover Dam, the New Jersey Turnpike and the Empire State Building were built — a clear indicator of how cumbersome and political today’s permitting process has become.

After more than five years, the proposed Keystone XL pipeline is still largely just a plan and not a completed part of our critical infrastructure system.

Though Keystone XL cleared a significant hurdle — again — on Jan. 31 when the State Department issued a positive environmental impact statement, the wait is not over. The project now shifts into a subjective phase of review during which the administration determines whether building the pipeline is in the national interest. But the administration refuses to give a timeline on when the decision will actually be made.

More than 70 percent of Americans aren’t sitting around and wondering. They already know that the Keystone XL pipeline is in the best interest of the nation. There is no justification for further delay.

For starters, Keystone XL would add stable energy from a reliable source to our supply — safely and efficiently. The State Department has studied the project for 1,960 days and issued five reports, reaching the conclusion that the pipeline poses minimal environmental risk. Moreover, though many activists believe that blocking Keystone XL will halt development of oil sands, the department’s analysis makes it clear that Canada will develop those resources with or without the pipeline; the country will simply ship them using different modes of transportation and to other countries.

The Keystone XL pipeline would not only transport fuel safely, but it would boost economic activity along the way. Building the pipeline would create more than 42,000 new jobs while adding $3.4 billion to the economy. The pipeline would generate more than $5.2 billion in property taxes for communities on the route, pumping cash into state and city coffers for schools, law enforcement and local projects.

Finally, the administration’s continued delays send a signal to companies around the world. Do we want to show international investors that America is open for business and a welcome place for their job-creating investments? Or do we want to send the message that they’re better off doing business elsewhere?

As we enter the next phase of review, the public will have an opportunity to make their views known — but then the dillydalling must stop. The Keystone XL pipeline is clearly in the national interest. Let’s make it a great American success story, not a cautionary tale of missed opportunity.

— Tom Donohue is president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The opinions expressed are his own.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >