The State Department comment period for the Keystone XL pipeline closed this week. The question remains: Will President Obama agree with us that the pipeline is in the national interest? Will he finally approve the Keystone XL pipeline?
The Keystone XL pipeline is not a political issue. It is not – in spite of the multi-billion dollar investment and thousands of jobs it represents – an economic issue. It is an American issue. And, as a military mom, I believe it is one that deserves our wholehearted support.
My son served four tours of duty during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Every day of his four deployments, I prayed that he had the tools he needed to defend himself. One of the most essential tools for our military personnel is energy – particularly oil – and it is one of the primary reasons I am so disappointed in President Obama’s continued refusal to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
Make no mistake; energy security and national security are one and the same. The DoD is the single largest energy consumer in America, and 80 percent of their demand is met with oil.
Where we get that oil matters.
We must procure the fuel we need – not only for our military, but for our businesses and families, as well – from dependable suppliers. Canada, the primary source for oil flowing through the Keystone XL pipeline, is as dependable as any nation in the world.
We can trust Canada because, in many ways, Canadian interests and U.S. interests are the same. We are each other’s largest trading partners. We share a commitment to democracy and individual freedom. We also have a mutual dedication to environmental protection, which is something many other oil-producing nations largely ignore.
Keystone XL would transport 830,000 barrels of oil per day to American refineries. By 2020, it would be part of a system that would grow our Canadian imports to 4 million barrels per day -- twice the amount we currently import from the Persian Gulf.
That makes sense to me. If we can replace a significant amount of the oil we now buy from politically unstable countries in the Middle East, Africa, or South America (including some that have made it clear they don’t care much for the U.S.) with fuel produced here in North America, we must do it. Procuring vital energy supplies from nations we trust is not just good business. It makes our nation stronger and protects the lives of our sons and daughters in uniform.
In spite of this, Keystone XL construction has still not begun. Political gamesmanship has kept this project in limbo for over four years. President Obama has allowed pressure from environmental extremists and other special interest groups to hold hostage this incredibly important piece of U.S. energy infrastructure.
Every politician I have ever met has said, “I support our troops.” But not all of them have acted on that rhetoric to endorse and work for policies that protect our servicemen and women and to provide them with the tools they need to accomplish their important missions.
The Keystone XL pipeline is an opportunity for President Obama and his cabinet appointees to truly support American military personnel and to guarantee them a secure supply of the fuel they must have to defend themselves and our freedom.
The Keystone XL pipeline is not only important to military families like mine. It is important to all of us. And the time to build it is now.