To the Editor:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is to be commended for her sober support of the Keystone XL pipeline project. Mrs. Clinton clearly understands the contribution that this pipeline will make to the revitalization of our economy and the security of our nation.
The $12 billion Keystone pipeline will securely transport tar sands crude oil from Canada to U.S. refining centers and add more than $20 billion to our economy. Construction of the pipeline will create more than 15,000 high-paying jobs here in the United States.
Investment in Canadian oil sands and subsequent production could generate as many as 350,000 new American jobs in the next five years, and add up to $34 billion to our gross domestic product.
The national security benefits are incalculable. After all, Canada is our top oil supplier, and a safe and reliable source of this vital fuel. More oil from Canada means less dependence on uncertain foreign sources.
Because it crosses national boundaries, the pipeline project must be approved by the State Department. Mrs. Clinton has indicated that she is inclined to give that approval. Her expressed support for the pipeline has not gone unchallenged, however. She has drawn fire from environmental groups seeking to block the project.
The security and prosperity of our nation should be a bipartisan concern. All Americans Democrats, Republicans, and Independents should encourage Mrs. Clinton to stand firm and give final approval to the Keystone pipeline.
Chairman, Illinois Energy Forum