- Shovel ready – We’ve all heard of shovel ready projects that didn’t live up to their name. However, the Keystone Pipeline is not going to be one of them. An estimated 13,000 Americans are needed as soon as the legislation passes to begin construction. There are also 7,000 estimated jobs in manufacturing estimated to come of the pipeline. There are even 118,000 “spin off jobs” assessed to be produced locally from the pipeline. Although all of this is according to TransCanada, the company behind the pipeline, even if there numbers are inflated, they’re still pretty good.
- The People Want It – Last week, the American Petroleum Institute, also known as the API, conducted a random telephone survey of over 900 participants from all political walks and found that both parties, as well as independents, supported building the pipeline.
API Key findings:
- 68% of participants unanimously supported the building of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
- 78% of participants believed that Keystone XL Pipeline would boost economic security in the United States.
- 66% of participants were more likely to support a 2016 presidential candidate who favored the pipeline.
- Of the participants, 32% identified themselves as Democrats, 32% identified themselves as Republicans, and 22% of participants identified as Independents.
- Phase I is Already Operational – If you think Keystone is not working at all, think again. The first phase of the Keystone Pipeline System commenced operations in June 2010 and takes crude oil non-stop from Canada into the U.S. Midwest.
- $70 Million a Day – Just how much oil and wealth will be created by the Keystone XL Pipeline? Figuring in that the pipeline will deliver an estimated 700,000 barrels a day, at a lower cost than traditional means of moving it, then it will generate an estimated $70 million in daily revenue of gas, depending on prices.
- Seven Years and Counting – It was seven years ago this month that the TransCanada Corporation filed an application with the U.S. State Department to build the complete pipeline. No official answer has been given from the Obama administration as to whether they will approve or deny the pipeline. Recent comments from President Obama came from White House spokesman Josh Earnest who referred questions concerning Keystone to the State Department. The department’s spokesperson has not answered any questions related to the pipeline in recent times.
- It’s all about Nebraska – The greatest opponents of the Keystone Pipeline are environmentalists, among whose chief concerns center around the Ogallala Aquifer in Nebraska. In a compromise, TransCanada agreed to bypass that route taking them away from Ogallala and the Sand Hills region. There are also issues regarding TransCanada’s use of eminent domain to build the pipeline in the state. Bringing us to:
- Protests – It isn’t just the Occupy Wall Street of old that has made headlines for protests. Environmentalists have been protesting the pipeline since its proposal. Because the sand the oil is minded from has to be broken down, it can be messy and produces a far larger carbon footprint than extracting crude the traditional way. Although the State Department has said the pipeline would have “no significant impacts to most resources,” back in August 2011, it has still put the project on standstill.
- 2016 Political Issue – Both Democrats and Republicans site the economy in general as the most pressing issue going into the political election, 33% for June 2015 according to Gallup. However, the same poll put eight other issues before the cost of fuel and oil. Given their current low prices, this isn’t surprising, but it is odd to see the same poll put wage issues, corporate corruption, and others ahead of an issue that not too long ago was at the top of everyone’s list.
While there are many differing opinions on how best to move forward, or if to move forward at all, it is important to know as much about the project as possible in order to make an informed decision. To read more on the Keystone XL Pipeline, click here.