If the State Department had returned negative or even mixed environmental assessments for Keystone XL, Secretary of State John Kerry might face a difficult decision to approve construction (“All sides pressing Kerry on pipeline,” Page A1, May 28). Fortunately for him and for our economy, the State Department resoundingly concluded not just once but in each of the four assessments conducted over the past five years that the pipeline would have “no significant impacts” on the environment.
Keystone XL “would have a degree of safety over any other typically constructed domestic oil pipeline system,” according to the State Department. Every governor in states along the planned route strongly supports Keystone XL and the 42,000 jobs and $2 billion in salaries its construction would generate over the next two years.
The latest review determined that “there would be no substantive change in global greenhouse gas emissions” because these oil resources are being developed with or without Keystone XL. The only thing the United States would accomplish by refusing oil from our number one trading partner, Canada, would be the transfer of economic benefits and enhanced energy security to other countries such as China. Meanwhile, we would increase our reliance on imports from less stable regions.
The high-profile approval process for Keystone XL has made it a political issue, but it shouldn’t be. With environmental questions thoroughly settled in favor of construction, Kerry has only one question to consider: Is Keystone XL in our national interest? By every measure — economic growth, energy security, job creation, revenue generation, and benefit to our military — the answer is yes.