Unequivocally, Yes. Keystone XL is undoubtedly the most scrutinized pipeline project in history. Five studies in five years all concluded there would be no significant adverse impacts on the environment. With that conclusion, approving Keystone “North” would be a logical component for the President’s all-of-the above energy strategy, as we utilize our Nation’s abundant energy resources.

KXL will unlock the door to a new era of increased energy security, environmental protection and economic opportunities for the middle class, while expanding our energy supply in a safe and responsible manner. Keystone will provide much needed, privately funded infrastructure to move US Bakken and Canadian crude to US refineries.

Partnering with Canada is clearly in the nation’s interest with our friendly northern ally. Importing oil from Canada gives the United States more control over environmental policies and safeguards our supply. Unlike with Middle East sources, we will have increased authority on how we develop, transport and store energy. The President’s approval will also contribute to modernizing our infrastructure for the future as the private sector pours more resources into R&D to ensure success.

In last week’s State of the Union Speech, the President portrayed 2014 as “a year of action and major initiatives.” This project supports that commitment and brings the United States one step closer to energy independence. The studies prove that there are no environmental objections or claims, leaving project opponents nothing left to argue. When environmental groups go on record claiming their next steps are organizing “civil disobedience and protests,” clearly the environmental chapter of these studies has concluded.

Our Nation’s evolving energy and climate policy requires a realistic assessment of our needs and current capabilities. We must continue to leverage renewables wherever possible, while understanding our dependence on fossil fuels must meet our current needs. We will continue to invest in promising new technologies for successful infrastructure for our future.

In retrospect, the environmental opposition to Keystone will likely be viewed as a significant strategic mistake, one that needlessly undermined confidence in
conservation and environmental policy. KXL brings us one step closer to ridding ourselves from the bonds of OPEC, something not seen since before

Let’s hope future conversations center on how to both grow our economy while transforming our energy policy towards improving the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of renewables.