Case for Keystone Grows as the President Ducks; It’s Time to Build and Say #Yes2Energy
A new study out by the Consumer Energy Alliance details that construction of the Gulf Coast Pipeline – also known as the southern half of Keystone XL – generated billions in new economic activity and income wages for communities along the pipeline route. The pipeline created more than $2.1 billion in new economic activity in Oklahoma and over $3.6 billion in Texas. Some counties saw personal income increase by more than 74 percent.
The author of the report, Bernard Weinstein, said that the construction of the pipeline provided a tremendous “economic tonic” to the 24 counties where it was built. The report goes on to state, “Local restaurants, hotels and businesses experienced a significant boost.”
The economic growth resulting from Keystone’s southern half provides more evidence supporting the need to finish project. The report concludes, “As debate continues over the future of the Keystone XL pipeline, our examination of the Gulf Coast Project, the pipeline running from Cushing (OK) to Nederland (TX) that began operations earlier this year, concludes that the project has generated sizeable economic, employment and fiscal benefits to the states of Oklahoma and Texas as well as the 24 affected counties. Similar state and local economic benefits can be anticipated should the United States give the go-ahead for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline from Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska.”
Construction projects that leverage private capital to build infrastructure like pipelines are good for jobs and the economy, they positively affect local businesses, and they put folks to work. At a time when our economy is actually shrinking – there is no reason for a jobs and energy project like the Keystone XL pipeline to be languishing on the president’s desk. And despite Democrats’ strong support for Keystone, the Senate still refuses to take action and build the project.
As the Keystone Clock hurtles past 2100 days, many Americans are left wondering where are the jobs? Where is the economic growth? Well, thanks to energy projects like the Gulf Coast Pipeline, the jobs and growth are in Texas and Oklahoma. Other parts of the country could experience similar benefits if only the president would simply say “yes” to Keystone XL.