As a lifelong Montana resident, I feel the need to write concerning the approval process of the Keystone XL Pipeline project. As I am sure you are aware, this project is awaiting presidential approval for the pipeline to cross the U.S.-Canada border. I am a 30-year pipeline construction worker and Montana taxpayer. I am tired of sending our wealth to countries that use the money to attack our way of life. With the supplies now available in Canada, it makes perfect sense to purchase as much oil as we can from our friendly neighbors to the north.
I have personally witnessed the precautions and safety measures that TransCanada upholds to construct and operate their pipeline systems and I can honestly say from a safety standpoint, they are one the best pipeline operators in our country today. With over 13,000 construction jobs and 118,000 spin-off jobs hanging in the balance and an estimated $600 million dollars in new tax revenues for the communities, it makes perfect sense to construct the Keystone XL now. This pipeline comes at a time when we need jobs, friendly oil supplies, and private sector investments into our country.
TransCanada has pledged to transport up to 15 percent of this pipeline’s capacity with U.S. oil production to be picked up along its proposed route. This means that Montana and North Dakota oil producers will be able to send their products to market at a more favorable price than they now have. I understand that as a country we need to look at as many environmentally friendly approaches as possible. I am for reducing our carbon footprint by choosing natural gas powered vehicles, wind power, solar power, and nuclear energy, but we cannot get there overnight. From where we sit today we are committed in the near future to oil. At the present time it make perfect sense, even common sense, to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, and purchase oil from our friendly neighbors to the north, and put America back to work.