How The Keystone Pipeline Will Help Create Energy Independence For The United States
July 24, 2013
One of the most exciting and important goals in the future of the United States is to achieve North American energy independence. Imported oil from Canada and Mexico would combine with our domestic resources to completely free the US of fuel dependency from foreign sources. This goal is achievable thanks in part to energy conservation and new developments in the oil and gas industry. The projected heavy crude drawn from Canada via the Keystone Pipeline would assist greatly to make it possible to tap more resources at home. With regards to energy independence, we’ll examine some of the major benefits that would derive from this important pipeline.
The Keystone Pipeline Would Provide More Stability
Importing oil from foreign sources in the potentially volatile nature of geopolitics is quite troubling. Having a dependence on a foreign country on such a vital product can leave the United States vulnerable for many reasons. Our need to receive fuels relies on each exporting country's stability. This can include their government and its relationship with the United States, their overall economic strength and the regulatory policies they adhere to for international commerce.
By contrast, the existing operational phases (1 & 2) of the Keystone Pipeline and the proposed Keystone expansion referred to as Keystone XL (phases 3 & 4) originate from Canada. Canada is a very stable country that is unlikely to see an abrupt reduction of output due to extreme swings in their government or their economic state. Canada is also already one of our main trade partners and a country with whom we are on very good terms. This makes doing business with Canada much easier and more consistent.
The Keystone Pipeline Would Create Lower Prices
One of the best reasons to seek North American energy independence through the Keystone Pipeline is that it would result in much lower oil prices and provide a significant economic advantage to the United States. An example of this can be seen in Venezuela. Last year the United States imported 331,697,000 barrels of oil from Venezuela. The State Department has estimated that the oil delivered by the Keystone XL pipeline would most likely displace Venezuelan oil imports. A large portion of the money spent would be able to circulate within the U.S. through the construction, service and maintenance of the pipeline.
We currently have a significant trade deficit with Venezuela. In 2012 for every $1 that we spent purchasing Venezuelan goods, Venezuela purchased just 46 cents worth of American goods. By contrast our trade deficit with Canada is much smaller. In the same year for every $1 of Canadian goods that we purchased, Canada purchased 90 cents worth of American goods. A vastly higher percentage of the money we spend in Canada is returned to the United States versus the return we get with Venezuela.
North American energy independence would also save the US money in terms of actually creating lower prices. The Keystone XL pipeline would significantly increase the supply of heavy crude oil, thereby lowering the price. North American energy independence would provide a much-needed boost to the economy.
The Keystone Pipeline Would Be Safer
Safety is always a paramount concern when discussing oil transportation. In terms of safe transport, the optimal method is by far pipelines, and the Keystone XL pipeline would become one of the safest pipelines ever built in the United States. Our country would be able to control the management, security and operations both geographically and politically.
Studies show that based on a ton-mile of freight, a pipeline is about 530% safer than rail transportation, and 50,000% safer than truck transportation. The Keystone XL pipeline is also proposed to incorporate 57 special conditions which are designed to ensure that it is even safer than any other domestic pipeline. Therefore, by moving toward North American energy independence, we also moving toward a safer, less accident prone future.
The bottom line is, North American energy independence would result in greater stability, lower prices, and enhanced safety for the nation. When combined with energy conservation and new technology this goal looks more attainable than ever. The Keystone XL pipeline would play a major part of this package and would help set us on the right track for a sound, safe future.