With the election past, and the most recent protest at the White House complete, one thing is certain. It’s well past time for a final decision on the fate of the Keystone XL Pipeline. With a second term now assured, President Obama must leave the campaign behind and approve this critical project that will strengthen our economic and national security.
The facts are simple. The Keystone XL pipeline has undergone more than four years of environmental review. The U.S. State Department declared that the pipeline would “have a degree of safety over any other typically constructed domestic oil pipeline system under current code.” This is because of 57 special conditions that will be incorporated into the pipeline, including heavier construction materials in sensitive areas, a higher number of remotely controlled shutoff valves and increased inspection rates.
The Canadian crudes that will travel through the Keystone XL pipeline have been transported into the United States for years. Oil sands crudes must be upgraded before they can be transported by pipeline. Once upgraded, they are similar to other heavy crude oils commonly transported in the United States. Despite what activists may tell you, there is nothing new or special about this pipeline other than the overwhelming degree of safety inherent in its engineering.