Rising Gas Prices Show Need for Keystone XL Pipeline
February 27, 2012
Across the county, motorists were paying an average of $3.59 for a gallon of gas today, an increase of 36 cents per gallon from this time one year ago. Oil Market Analysts have said they expect this year to be a record-breaking for gas prices. $4 per gallon gas could become the new normal by Memorial Day. Already we have seen a $0.035 jump in prices following the President’s unhelpful comments this week.
Instead of offering real solutions to stave off gas price increases the President has suggested that he may release some oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. This short-term and short-sighted idea is not a serious solution for our long-term energy problems. The real solution is to begin construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, and start on implementing an “All of the Above” energy policy. The 1700-mile pipeline would create thousands of American jobs, help bring down gas prices, and put our country on a path to energy independence. The pipeline would deliver over 700,000 barrels of oil a day from Canada.
On February 16th, a bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives passed the Protecting Investment in Oil Shale the Next Generation of Environmental, Energy, and Resource Security (PIONEERS) Act (H.R. 3408). This is a bill that would overrule President Obama’s decision to delay construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The PIONEERS Act transfers permitting approval authority over the pipeline away from the President and the State Department, and over to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. This would allow construction to begin on the northern portion of the pipeline, while an acceptable route through environmentally-sensitive areas of Nebraska is decided upon. The legislation is now awaiting action in the Senate.
In addition, the legislation opens others areas of our nation up for energy exploration and production. It would open part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska for oil and natural gas development. The bill also promotes development of U.S. oil shale on government land and opens offshore energy production along the Outer Continental Shelf.
While this bill awaits Senate action, and the President dithers on an energy policy which recognizes the need for fossil fuels over the next 50 years, the Canadian Prime Minister has begun discussions with China on directing the pipeline towards the Pacific. So instead of the U.S. purchasing oil from an ally, China will gain a new economic partner. It’s time for action on this commonsense project which will help lower gas prices, and keep North American oil in North America.