Guest Post by Greg Cohen, CEO, American Highway Users Alliance
Ensuring access to a variety of available energy resources is an important part of supplying Americans with reliable and affordable fuel sources. The American Highways Users Alliance supports a national agenda that encourages the use of all types of energy, both onshore and offshore, including the development of Canada’s oil sands. We believe that taking steps to further our partnership with Canada, including the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline project, is essential to boost our economy and provide much-needed jobs for Americans.
To meet our growing energy demand and keep fuel prices affordable, the U.S. needs to take advantage of energy available throughout North America. As out largest supplier of imported oil, Canada is an important part of our energy portfolio, accounting for approximately 22 percent of total imports, or 2.4 million barrels per day. In fact, should President Obama approve the Keystone XL pipeline, the U.S. could move toward replacing almost 40 percent of oil imports from the Persian Gulf.
Importing Canadian goods and natural resources remains a sound and reliable investment. Consider that for every U.S. dollar spent on Canadian exports, up to 89 cents is returned to the US by Canadians on U.S. goods and services. According to Statistics Canada & the U.S. Census, the United States’ trade relationship is so strong with Canada that for every two jobs created to support Canada’s oil sands development operations, approximately one is created here at home.
The American Highway Users Alliance understands that the Keystone XL pipeline is key to bringing Canadian crude oil — a secure and reliable source of energy — to technologically advanced U.S. refineries in the Gulf Coast. Our members have been advocates of the project from the start. We are in favor of the economic benefits increased crude supply from Keystone XL would provide, which will support U.S. consumers. Noting the 20,000 U.S. jobs and the $20 billion in spending the full pipeline stands to bring, the Highway Users strongly urge the Obama Administration to move forward its approval as quickly as possible. Already project delays have cost us the 10,000 U.S. jobs not created last year.
The Keystone XL has already gone through a more rigorous review than any other pipeline project to date and will be utilizing the most cutting-edge safety and operating technology. With 75 percent of Americans in favor of it, the pipeline stands for a tangible and practical step to support our economy, workforce and consumers while bringing us one step closer to North American energy independence.