Hearing Underscores Keystone XL Pipeline’s Benefits
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade, led by Chairman Scott Tipton (R-CO), today held a hearing appraising the benefits that many small businesses would reap from construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
The Committee heard about the economic benefits that will be available to small businesses from both the construction – and the long-term operation – of the Keystone XL Pipeline. In testimony, witnesses discussed how the pipeline would enhance our nation’s energy security, expand economic and job growth, and lower energy prices for Americans. According to a 2012 study by the NFIB, the “Cost of Natural Gas, Propane, Gasoline, Diesel, Fuel Oil” ranks as the third highest concern among small business owners.
Additionally, the pipeline’s construction would be a boon to many rural communities spanning the western United States along the northern and southern routes from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, bringing in local commercial activity and creating opportunities in fields that include numerous small business contractors. The project would boost the demand for various skilled labor occupations, and create an estimated 42,100 jobs.
“This hearing provided convincing testimony that this vital project is truly a keystone on which we can continue building our national prosperity,” said Chairman Tipton. “At a time when we should be focusing on economic growth and energy security, moving forward with this project is simply common sense. We have a rare opportunity to create thousands of jobs immediately, many through small businesses, and do so in a responsible way.”
Materials for the hearing are posted on the House Small Business Committee’s website HERE.
Brent Booker, Secretary Treasurer, Building and Construction Trades Department, Department, AFL-CIO, Washington, DC, said, “America's Building Trades Unions emphatically support the construction of the Keystone pipeline which will move oil from deposits in Canada to existing refineries in Texas, Oklahoma and the Midwest. Our unions have been actively involved with this project for almost 5 years now, and we are adamant in our belief that the economic, energy security, and national security benefits associated with the construction of this pipeline are too many and too significant to allow it to be derailed by a narrow and misguided political agenda being advanced by a small minority of ill-advised environmental groups… The choice is clear and, again, any further delay by the Obama Administration is unacceptable.”
Peter Bowe, President and CEO, Ellicott Dredges, Baltimore, MD, testifying on behalf of the National Association of Manufacturers, said, “One way or the other, Canadians will eventually solve their distribution problems, with or without US governmental collaboration. To the extent this process is delayed, the producers will suffer economic loss, and their US suppliers, like Ellicott Dredges, will suffer as well, including diminished employment.”
Mat Brainerd, President, Brainerd Chemical Company, Tulsa, OK, testifying on behalf of the National Association of Chemical Distributors, said, “My industry would benefit from building the pipeline in three distinct ways. First, like many industries, chemical distribution benefits from economic growth generally. Second, building the pipeline would reduce our costs for aromatic and aliphatic chemicals, diesel and rail tank cars. Third, it would benefit the economics of hydraulic fracturing, which is an important market that many in our industry serve.”