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Former National Security Advisor to President Obama, Tom Donilon said something very interesting at an Aspen Institute event. When asked if he’d recommend approving the Keystone XL pipeline, he said, “I probably would.”
Washington Post reporter Juliet Eilperin caught this quote and added that Donilon isn’t alone:
Many government officials privately back the project on the grounds that it would expand the oil supply the U.S. would receive from a trusted ally, as well as bolster our relationship with Canada more broadly.
Despite the hidden support, the White House has chosen to appease anti-energy zealots by delaying approval of the pipeline’s northern leg to Canada for over five years.
With plentiful Canadian crude oil sands available and America’s energy boom underway, it will be imperative to build adequate energy infrastructure to move oil and natural gas where needed. The result will be jobs and economic growth.
An IHS analysis for the American Petroleum Institute concluded that we can expect $890 billion in energy infrastructure spending over the next 12 years:
Between 2014 and 2020, IHS projects that an average of greater than $80 billion will be invested annually in U.S. midstream and downstream petroleum infrastructure. After 2020, IHS expects that pace of investment to curtail moderately from this sustained period of high investment, declining gradually to an infrastructure direct capital investment of just under $60 billion by 2025.
The resulting economic benefits will include:
- Support for almost 900,000 jobs;
- Contribution to US GDP of $94 billion;
- Labor Income of $59 billion;
- Government Revenues in excess of $21 billion.
Producing these benefits depend on having a sensible permitting process. As U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue stated in his State of American Business address, this means removing and guarding “against unnecessary restrictions, delays, and regulations” on projects like the Keystone XL pipeline.
We won’t reap all the benefits of North America’s energy abundance if more energy infrastructure projects become political footballs like the Keystone XL pipeline.
[H/t Oil Sands Fact Check]