Sep 18, 2015 - 5:15pm

7 Years In and the Public Still Wants Keystone XL Pipeline Built

Senior Editor, Digital Content


A welder near Atoka, Oklahoma. Photo credit: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg.
A welder near Atoka, Oklahoma. Photo credit: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’ll be lucky number seven for the Keystone XL pipeline. This month marks seven years since TransCanada first applied for a State Department permit to transport U.S. and Canadian crude oil.

Icons of American engineering like the Golden Gate Bridge, Hoover Dam, and the Pentagon have all be completed faster than the time the State Department has taken to send a decision to President Obama.

In fact, so much time has passed that the Secretary of State who received the permit application is now running for president.

These delays have turned an ordinary infrastructure project—millions of miles of energy pipelines already run under the U.S.—into an ideological lightning rod.

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The seven-year delay has denied our country considerable economic benefits. When the pipeline when is finally built:

  • 42,100 new direct and indirect jobs will be created.
  • $3.4 billion will be added to the economy.
  • $55.6 million in annual property taxes will be generated in the first year of operation.

Although the pipeline has been in regulatory limbo, public support for it continues to be strong, an American Petroleum Institute poll finds.

Sixty-eight percent of registered voters support building the Keystone XL pipeline. These majorities stretch across parties lines: 91% of Republicans; 62% of Independents; and 52% of Democrats.


API poll on Keystone XL pipeline--9/17/2015
Source: American Petroleum Institute.

Mark Green at Energy Tomorrow points out other important findings from the poll:

  • 78 percent agree Keystone XL should be built because it would strengthen U.S. economic security by helping create jobs here at home while keeping energy dollars in North America.
  • 78 percent agree that building Keystone XL will help maintain a stable supply of oil from North America to U.S. refineries.
  • 76 percent agree that it’s in the United States’ best interest to approve Keystone XL, because it would increase supply from North America instead of other regions of the world.
  • 67 percent agree that approving Keystone XL will help the U.S. become more of an energy power in the world and help with U.S. foreign policy.
  • 66 percent of voters said they would be more likely to support a candidate who supports building Keystone XL.

Seven years of debate is long enough. President Obama should end this drama and approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

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About the Author

About the Author

Sean Hackbarth
Senior Editor, Digital Content

Sean writes about public policies affecting businesses including energy, health care, and regulations. When not battling those making it harder for free enterprise to succeed, he raves about all things Wisconsin (his home state) and religiously follows the Green Bay Packers.