LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Obama delays huge jobs pipeline

A Jan. 23 letter to President Obama from the 53 U.S. senators urges approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, but it has yet to receive the go-ahead. This is despite the fact that in March 2012, Mr. Obama directed federal agencies to accelerate approval of vital energy infrastructure.

The approval of this project proposal would create an estimated 20,000 jobs and transport an additional 830,000 barrels of oil daily to U.S. refineries, which would help lessen our dependence on foreign-oil imports. Additionally, in 2009, the State Department found that the Alberta Clipper pipeline between Canada and the United States would advance a number of strategic U.S. interests. The Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) by the State Department is set to be finalized by the first quarter of 2013, and the four-and-a-half years of study ought to be sufficient for the president to honor his deadline for its passage.

If the proposed Keystone XL pipeline creates jobs, helps build the infrastructure and reduces the dependency on foreign oil, why the hesitancy of its passage? Are the words of the president boasting of job creation as shallow as his support of Israel? Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that newly confirmed Secretary of State John Kerry will back the pipeline’s approval.

RICK TAPLEY

Troy, Tenn.

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