Guest Post by Daniel Fisher, Senior Dir. Of Gov’t Affairs, Associated Equipment Distributors
American businesses understand that Canada’s energy resources can help the United States meet its growing demand for energy. Associated Equipment Distributors (AED), whose 500 member companies represent $15 billion in annual sales of construction equipment and related services in the U.S. and Canada, also recognize the significant economic and national security benefits that Canadian energy resources could bring to the United States.
Through the completion of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline – the most critical step in allowing the U.S. to capitalize on the benefits of Canadian energy resources – our crude oil imports from Canada could reach four million barrels a day by 2020, or twice the amount we currently import daily from the Persian Gulf. Allowing upwards of 830,000 barrels of Canadian oil to reach U.S. refineries through the Keystone XL pipeline every day would go a long way toward reducing our reliance on energy resources from less stable regions, which would have immeasurable national-security benefits.
Keystone XL also presents a tremendous economic opportunity for the United States, particularly within the construction sector. Both the completion of the pipeline and an increase in Canadian oil sands production and export to the U.S. would mean greater demand for the products and services that these American companies produce. Indeed, AED’s member companies would benefit greatly not just from the building, but also from the operation, maintenance and repair of the vast infrastructure involved in the production and importation of oil from Canada.
In fact, it is estimated that the Keystone XL project alone will create 13,000 new construction-related jobs in the U.S. Those are jobs that are badly needed in the U.S., and that are especially needed within a sector that has struggled more than most to recover from the recent recession. More importantly, there’s a clear consensus – not just within the construction industry, but among other business and labor organizations, as well – that imported crude oil from Canada is critical to the long-term health of the U.S. economy as a whole.
This vital economic partnership creates thousands of job opportunities beyond the construction industry as well. According to a 2011 study by the Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI), for every two jobs created in Canada from oil sands development, approximately one is created in the U.S. At least 2,400 American companies from 49 states play a role in either developing Alberta’s oil sands or expanding our pipelines and refineries here in the US, which is further proof of the joint benefits this vast resource can provide to both Canadians and Americans.
Because there is such a strong economic and national-security case for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, and because the associated benefits would be both immediate and sustainable, AED will continue to advocate strongly for the pipeline’s timely approval.