Now that the election is over, the oil and gas industry is holding the president accountable for promises made during his campaign. American Petroleum Institute called on President Obama to move forward with the stagnant project and grant approval in a conference call with reporters Thursday.
"In our exit polls last week … it showed that 73 percent of Americans support more American production of oil and natural gas," stated API's Executive Vice President Marty Durbin. "Ninety-one percent believe that that production will lead to more American jobs – and 75 percent support building the Keystone XL pipeline. We encourage the president to approve the necessary cross-border permit."
API is holding fast to the idea that by approving this project, jobs will be created, lower gas prices will go into effect and U.S. energy independence will be spurred by increasing the amount of crude and petroleum products available to the U.S. for domestic use and exports.
Currently, the project is awaiting approval from U.S. regulators while becoming a hot-topic during the recent presidential election.
"We can't have an energy strategy for the last century that traps us in the past. We need an energy strategy for the future – an all-of-the-above strategy for the 21st century that develops every source of American-made energy," President Barack Obama said at Prince George's Community College earlier this year in a series of visits to discuss the administration's energy goals.
The State Department, charged with approving cross-border pipelines into the United States, rejected the TransCanada-owned pipeline permit last year. The company then submitted a Presidential Permit application May 4 to the State Department, which is expected to make a decision on the project by the first quarter of 2013. Following the decision, TransCanada expects to begin construction in the first quarter of 2013, with an anticipated in-service date in late 2014 or early 2015.
TransCanada and supporters of the project expect to receive White House approval and if received, it will be viewed as a win for North American energy independence.
The Keystone Pipeline is a 2,150-mile pipeline that transports crude oil from Hardisty, Alberta to markets in the American midwest. The proposed Keystone XL would extend that pipeline to the U.S. Gulf Coast, which has the largest concentration of oil refining and shipping operations in the world. If the pipeline extension project is approved, it will transport 830,000 barrels of heavy crude oil from the Canadian oil sands to U.S. refineries for processing and distribution around the United States and the world.
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