Originally posted on Forbes.
Not a single national infrastructure project under consideration today will do more to advance North American energy independence than Keystone XL. If energy independence is in the national interest, than Keystone XL deserves to be approved.
Not only has the Keystone pipeline project become the most scrutinized energy infrastructure project of the decade, it is the most scrutinized pipeline project in the history of the United States. After 6 years of review, longer than it took our country to win World War II, there is simply no credible reason to continue the never-ending review process.
Although the pipeline recently received support from the majority of Senators, 59-49, voting against the project serves only to undermine job creation, environmental safety, and economic stability.
The Vice President has touted the need to invest in infrastructure, yet the government continues to hold this shovel ready project hostage to assuage the concerns of environmental activists who have cloaked their war against any further development of fossil fuels into factual inaccuracies aimed at stopping all new oil and gas infrastructure projects.
Keystone XL, pipeline, infrastructure, energy
There can be no doubt that an influx of billions of private dollars into the economy will generate significant economic growth within the U.S. The truth shows us that the original Keystone project has spurred economic growth while safely delivering millions of barrels of oil from Canada’s oil sands to U.S. gulf coast refineries.
The effect of Washington’s gridlock is apparent in South Dakota, where the long wait for regulatory reviews and political battles has significantly increased the cost of building badly needed infrastructure. In fact, so much time has passed since the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission first approved the pipeline’s route in 2010 that they now must re-approve the plan.
Because construction of the pipeline in South Dakota did not commence within four years of the permit being issued by the PUC, TransCanada must now certify to the PUC the Keystone XL Pipeline continues to meet the conditions upon which the permit was issued.
While waiting in regulatory limbo, the cost of the South Dakota portion of Keystone XL has more than doubled, and now stands at $1.974 billion.
Continuing to hold this project hostage under the guise of further study should not be tolerated. After numerous environmental studies clearing the project, the choice is clear. Will our leaders continue to hold this project hostage, or will they choose the path to economic growth and energy security supported by fact and science.