The Keystone clock has racked up yet another 100 days, now counting 2100 days since the original permit to build the pipeline was filed with the U.S. State Department. While President Obama and Senate Democrats continue to run out the clock, Canada’s government this week approved the Northern Gateway project, a pipeline designed to carry Canada’s oil sands to the Pacific Coast so it can be shipped to China. The United States has long been Canada’s number one energy customer, but the relationship has deteriorated with Keystone’s delay, and Canada has been forced to look for other suitors for its rich energy supplies.
According to the Associated Press, “Approval for Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project was expected as Canada needs infrastructure in place to export its growing oil sands production. The project’s importance has only grown since the U.S. delayed a decision on TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline that would take oil from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast.” If the administration’s foreign policy mantra is “don’t do stupid, er, stuff,” why turn our back on our North American neighbor and ally?
The escalating chaos in Iraq also underscores the urgent need to approve the pipeline for the sake of our energy security and affordability. The North American crude oil carried by Keystone would increase market stability and help reduce pressure on prices at the pump. API’s Jack Gerard this week expressed, “The growing crisis in the Middle East, as well as ongoing tensions in Ukraine, makes clearer than ever that we cannot stand in the way of smart decisions today that will help to secure a stable supply of energy for our nation in the future.” Sean McGarvey, president of the AFL-CIO’s Building and Construction Trades Department, added, “Keystone is a litmus test about whether America is serious about global and regional energy security.”
With China’s increasing hold on Canada’s energy supply and the increasing unrest in the Middle East, the need to approve Keystone XL has never been greater. After 2100 days, it is well-past time to build this landmark jobs and energy project. Join the conversation on twitter and facebook with #TimetoBuild.