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Counterpoint: ‘Good for Oklahoma’

We’re confident that when they have the facts, Oklahomans will agree Keystone XL is good for America and good for Oklahoma.

Nicole Aitken June 8th, 2011

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline has generated considerable attention lately, with some of it coming from those who have a biased opinion based on misinformation and an alarmist distortion of the facts.

But it’s clear to those who review the project with an objective, fact-based approach that Keystone XL has been fair with landowners in Oklahoma and other states, will strengthen American energy security, is the safest way to deliver petroleum products to Americans, and will generate economic benefits.

Some might get the false impression we are in disputes with the majority of landowners in Oklahoma. That’s hardly true. Our work with landowners in Oklahoma to secure limited easements for the pipeline right of way has been progressing well, with more than 90 percent of all easements in hand.

That’s the record of a company working in good faith to reach an agreement on terms landowners accept.

When discussions with landowners don’t produce an agreement, the U.S.based entity of Keystone XL — not a foreign company, as some falsely claim — is following Oklahoma law, which calls for an independent hearing process to determine fair compensation.

Another myth is the false claim that the oil Keystone XL will deliver to refineries on the Gulf Coast in Texas will go to China. That’s hard to understand, especially when America imports two-thirds of the oil it needs. Put simply, Keystone XL will deliver American and Canadian crude oil to Gulf Coast refineries to meet U.S. demand. Keystone XL could be part of the solution to higher energy prices and strengthen American energy security.

Keystone XL can replace half of crude oil imports from unreliable offshore sources, create new crude oil sources to Gulf Coast refiners who set the price of gasoline and are vulnerable to supply disruptions, send a powerful message to Canadian producers to continue to bring crude to the U.S. instead of sending it to foreign countries, and reduce the risk of future supply uncertainty that puts upward pressure on crude oil prices.

Environmental concerns about Keystone XL have generated the most confusion. Given their long relationship with pipelines and the oil industry, most Oklahomans know they are the safest and most environmentally responsible way to transport crude oil and petroleum products.

Keystone XL will generate substantial economic benefits. An independent study highlighted Keystone XL’s importance to the economy:

—Construction of Keystone XL will create 20,000 jobs;
—It will create $20 billion in new spending in the U.S. economy;
—In Oklahoma, it will generate $1.2 billion in new spending;
—It will increase personal income of Americans by $6.5 billion, with $874 million for Oklahomans; and
—It will pay more than $25 million in state and local taxes during construction in Oklahoma.

We welcome questions about Keystone XL. We’re confident that when they have the facts, Oklahomans will agree Keystone XL is good for America and good for Oklahoma.

Aitken, manager of stakeholder relations for Keystone Pipeline, has directed the project’s external relations program in Oklahoma for six years. She lives in Calgary, Alberta.

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06.08.2011 at 09:28 Reply

A year after this pipeline is completed I'm going to call you up and ask why the price of gas never went down.  We both know this will not have a significant impact on prices at the pump.

Here is an idea, use the land you've appropriated and the money you have allocated for the pipeline to build wind and solar farms.  Those energy production installations will not suffer from the environmental hazards associated with moving a toxic substance through a pipe over great distances.  They will require repair and maintainence which will create jobs and stimulate the economy.  And these renewable solutions would no doubt fullfill most if not all of your pro-pipeline bullet points.

I don't understand this fixation on creating infrastructure to support a resource which has an expiration date.  Oil will one day be exhausted, and that becomes a scary proposition when you consider the millions of things that come from oil.  What we need to do now is start relegating oil strictly to non-transport uses while creating an renewable energy infrastructure that will provide clean limitless power to our vehicles and homes.


You need to admit that the reason this pipeline is being built is that there is huge profit to be had as a result of exploiting a limited energy source.  My cautionary tale to your industry is that you should not become complacent.  One day Big Oil will be sipping dry wells, and without owning other energy generating assets, the industry is going to fall hard and fast.  It's not going to happen soon, but I'd wager a bet the industry will colapse in less than a century.