Keystone XL Pipeline is closer to approval

Everyone hates high gas prices. What most people hate even more is high unemployment rates. One solution that has been pushed by several politicians and business leaders has been the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. This 1,179 mile pipeline would run through several Midwestern states. It is estimated that the project would provide an estimated 9,000 jobs. These jobs include welders, mechanics, electricians, pipefitters, laborers, safety coordinators, heavy equipment operators and other workers who rely on large construction projects for their livelihoods. In addition to this, the project would provide support more than 42,000 direct and indirect jobs nationwide. The Keystone XL Pipeline would also support the significant growth of crude oil production in the United States and possibly reduce the amount of oil America imports from unstable regions of the world. Hearing all of this you would think this is a dream come true for the US economy. However, there has been some opposition to this. Some environmentalists and opponents of the project feel that this isn’t a safe project, while supporters of the project highlight the safety of the pipeline and low probability of any natural disasters. This has become a political issue and currently is being litigated in the courts. However, I believe there is some hope of this project going through. That hope comes from the state of Virginia. A project similar in nature was recently approved. Four major U.S. energy companies — Dominion, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and AGL Resources came together to make this new project a reality. The project is a 550-mile natural gas pipeline called the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The pipeline would start in West Virginia and run through Virginia and end in North Carolina. The project even has the support of the Virginia Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe. There are several economic benefits for the states of West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina. Some of the highlights just in the state of Virginia include;

  • Estimated $1.4 billion in economic activity
  • Estimated 8,800 new Virginia jobs, including nearly 5,000 directly supported by spending on construction activities.
  • Will generate more than $14.6 million in additional tax revenue.
  • Once completed the pipeline would generate a total of $37.8 million per year in ongoing economic activity, supporting a total of 188 jobs annually and producing more than $233,000 in additional state tax revenue.

This project is seen as a game changer for Virginia’s economy. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline will lower energy costs for Virginia residents and businesses and help reduce carbon emissions in the region. I don’t understand why the same thing can’t happen with the Keystone XL pipeline. I believe The Atlantic Coast Pipeline will serve as an example of how beneficial both short term and long term a pipeline can be. Once this is demonstrated and the results marketed through the proper media channels. The Keystone XL pipeline I believe will receive the green light to proceed. How long will this take? I’m not sure, but I do feel that as a result of The Atlantic Coast Pipeline being approved the Keystone XL Pipeline is closer to approval.


Politics | Energy

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