The American Petroleum Institute (API) on Thursday urged the U.S. State Department to approve the Keystone pipeline project as soon as possible, classifying the decision "as a matter of critical national interest." The TransCanada Corp. project would serve as a critical component in a pipeline system to bring oil from Alberta's Oil Sands to refineries in the contiguous United States.
"Not only is this a chance for the White House to strengthen U.S. energy security and help plan for the nation's energy future, but it's also an opportunity to take a specific, public and dramatic action in support of creating new U.S. jobs," said Cindy Schild, API's refining issues manager, in a written statement. "TransCanada estimates that this project will create 13,000 organized labor jobs and hundreds of thousands of additional jobs."
API noted that a Canadian Energy Research Institute study finds that oil sands development will likely create more than 342,000 new jobs in the U.S. between 2011 and 2015. According to API, oil sands-based economic benefits to the U.S. will stem from the construction of industry facilities as well as Canadian expenditures of oil sands sales revenues on U.S. goods and services. Only Saudi Arabia has larger oil reserves than Canada, and Canada exports more oil to the U.S. than all countries in the Persian Gulf region.
In a preliminary assessment, the State Department found that environmental impacts of the pipeline would be limited. To review relevant documents from the State Department and other U.S. agencies, visit the State Department's Keystone project web site. TransCanada also maintains current project information at this link.