U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Congressman Lee Terry (R-Neb.) today joined forces with Vets4Energy, the American Petroleum Institute and Canadian Ambassador to the United States Gary Doer to drive home the importance of the Keystone XL pipeline project, and others like it, to secure America's economic and national security.
Participating in today's news conference were Vets4Energy Advisor and National Veterans Service Organizations Liaison Rear Adm. Don Loren, American Petroleum Institute President/CEO Jack Gerard, Canadian Ambassador to the United States Gary Doer and Executive Vice-President and President of Development for TransCanada Alex Pourbaix. Also on hand for today's event were 32 members of Vets4Energy, a group of volunteer veterans who continue to serve America as advocates for energy policies to sustain our national security.
"The Keystone XL pipeline gives us the opportunity to buy oil from one of our greatest trading partners and our ally: Canada," said Manchin. "There is no reason why the United States should pass up this opportunity, especially after multiple studies have shown that there is no damaging environmental impact. We have everything to gain by building this pipeline because it not only addresses energy security and limits our dependence on foreign oil, but it would help create thousands of jobs right here at home."
Hoeven, who recently returned from a Senate mission to Ukraine, said: "Seeing how Ukraine and the European Union are dependent on Russia for energy, our delegation saw firsthand the importance of energy security," Hoeven said. "Projects that boost North American energy production like the Keystone XL pipeline are a key not only to creating jobs and a dynamic economy, but also to keeping our nation and our people safe. The bottom line is -- energy security is national security."
Between Canada, Mexico and the United States, we could boost the United States' supply of oil to nearly 85 percent of what we use, he said. This puts the nation within striking range of North American energy security, meaning we produce more energy than we use in North America. Hoeven said we could achieve that goal within five years with a true comprehensive, all-of-the-above energy policy, which he has been working to build in Congress.
"Yesterday, I had the privilege to meet the Nebraska Korean War Honor Flight who fought for three years on the Korean Peninsula. In WWII, we conquered Nazi Germany in a little over four years," Terry said. "But here we are, five years after the permits have been filed to build the Keystone XL Pipeline, and we're still waiting. Our veterans have shown true leadership in accomplishing greater things in less time. After over 5 years, it's time to build the Keystone XL pipeline."
"Vets4Energy is an organization of volunteer veterans who understand that our nation's security is predicated on sound energy policy," said Adm. Loren. "We're here in Washington to work with our elected officials to make sure our country is leveraging all of its energy resources to help keep our country safe and ensure that our military men and women have productive careers when they leave the service.
"The State Department has reported that the pipeline would be safer and produce less GHG's than alternative modes of transportation," Doer said.
"The prolonged review of the pipeline continues to deprive thousands of Americans of good-paying jobs and the nation of a vital piece of energy infrastructure," said Gerard. "The time for study is over. Bipartisan majorities in Congress and a large majority of the American people support moving forward with the Keystone XL pipeline. The Obama administration has all the evidence it needs to approve the Keystone XL now. Let's move forward, put Americans to work, and build the infrastructure that will strengthen our energy security."
"Approving Keystone XL will improve energy security by ensuring Americans have a safe, reliable supply of U.S. and Canadian oil for decades to come," said Alex Pourbaix, executive vice-president and president, development, TransCanada Corporation. "Keystone will help protect the United States from having to rely on unstable foreign oil during times of global instability, similar to what we are currently seeing in Russia and the Ukraine."