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If Only Keystone Were on the Ballot in November…

Writing for Real Clear Energy, Consumer Energy Alliance Executive Vice President Michael Whatley argues that the Keystone XL Pipeline is a no-brainer in an election season defined by close, contentious races.

If Only Keystone Were on the Ballot in November…

By Michael Whatley

If Keystone XL were on the ballot this Election Day the Associated Press would call the race before hearing from even the slowest counting county.

There is such little contention around the issue because candidates agree. In Louisiana, North Carolina, Colorado, Georgia, Arkansas, West Virginia, Virginia, Alaska and Kentucky candidates for the U.S. Senate are mum because they both support construction. Polls showing pro-KXL candidates in Iowa, South Dakota and New Hampshire are all within in striking distance.

Environmental concerns raised by project opponents have been addressed by two separate final environmental impact reviews conducted by the U.S. State Department which have concluded that KXL will be the safest pipeline ever built in the U.S. and that rejecting the project would exacerbate carbon emissions.

Pipeline backers are already looking towards Election Day hoping to force the White House’s hand in approving Keystone XL. Mitch McConnell, who has proven to be President Obama’s most capable partner in compromise, has laid out a marker that a GOP Senate will vote on Keystone XL.

The Hill: “…the Keystone pipeline will be voted on.”

The election does matter for Keystone XL. GOP takeover of the U.S. Senate would break the procedural dam built by Harry Reid to keep Congress from approving Keystone XL through legislation.

At the end of the day, the decision before the president is not about politics or special interests, it is about making the best decision for what is in his country’s best interest.

Here are the facts:

Fact: Keystone XL will support 42,100 jobs including over 9,000 construction jobs bringing more than $5 billion in private investment into the U.S. economy.

Fact: The pipeline will alleviate a freight train backlog that is keeping Midwestern Farmers from moving their harvest to market.

Fact: The company which proposes to build the pipeline is recognized internationally as one of 187 companies“which demonstrate a superior approach to climate change…”

Fact: Keystone XL has the broadest bipartisan coalition of support of any energy issue in public debate today. Sixty percent plus public approval, backing from organized labor and business groups and a top priority of Canada, a close ally.

The president is not making this decision in a vacuum. Look beyond the politics and consider what Keystone XL would mean for the president whose primary responsibility as Commander in Chief is to stop terrorist attacks. As long North America depends on overseas oil, it will be funneling money to terrorist friendly regimes.

Fortifying America’s energy infrastructure is a major step towards attaining energy self-sufficiency. Establishing 100 years of North American energy supply through projects including Keystone XL will go further in stopping the next terrorist attack than any bullet fired in anger on foreign soil.

Once the political dust settles in November the President and Congress will return to governing. Approving Keystone XL would be a strong step in presidential leadership to bring Washington into a post partisan era.