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Legion reaffirms support for oil pipeline

Legion reaffirms support for oil pipeline

The $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline project would reduce America’s reliance on middle eastern oil suppliers, provide jobs for veterans and improve national security, American Legion National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger said today as arguments against the proposal are fading.

"We have never wavered in our favor of the Keystone XL pipeline project," Dellinger said. "Keystone XL will bolster national security and the national economy alike. There can be no reasonable objections to it remaining."

On Wednesday, the U.S. State Department issued a final environmental study for the proposed expansion, which would transport Canadian oil through the heart of America to a hub in Nebraska and on to refineries at the Gulf of Mexico. The report largely negates arguments made by those who oppose the project on the basis of environmental impact. President Obama has said he would support the project only if environmental concerns were allayed.

"The development of Keystone XL would have two primary effects that are of particular interest to The American Legion," Dellinger said. "Expansion of our existing oil supply route from our neighbor and ally, Canada, would strengthen national security by lessening our dependence upon foreign oil sources. The more self-sufficient we are, the stronger we are.

"Secondly, the building and maintenance of Keystone XL would provide jobs - many jobs," Dellinger added. "Some of those jobs, naturally, would go to qualified, disciplined, hardworking and dedicated military veterans. But employment created by the Keystone XL would not only decrease the veteran unemployment rate, but overall national jobless numbers. No cogent argument can be made against either of these benefits."

Two American Legion resolutions were passed in 2012 supporting the Keystone XL pipeline project. Resolution No. 207 points to continued reliance on foreign energy sources and consequent compromises to national security as reason enough to move on the project. The resolution "call(s) upon Congress and the President to expedite the approval and construction of a pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and other points as a step toward greater U.S. energy independence along with allowing the development of all viable energy resources."

Resolution No. 300 declares that "The American Legion, in order to increase American energy self-sufficiency, promote the creation of 20,000 jobs, and improve the stability of the American economy, strongly recommend(s) the permitting, construction and operation of the pipeline; and, urges all segments of the U.S. government (to) pursue and grant all required permits necessary for the construction of the proposed pipeline without further delay."

The Canadian government has been actively campaigning on behalf of the Keystone XL pipeline project as well. A highly visible poster campaign was launched in Washington recently, promoting the strong and friendly relationship between the United States and Canada, the No. 1 oil exporter to the United States.

On a webpage devoted to the proposed pipeline expansion, the Canadian government argues that "the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline will have the capacity to transport 830,000 barrels per day (bpd). Approximately 525,000 bpd of Canadian oil sands crude could ultimately be transported via KXL. TransCanada has indicated that up to 25 per cent of KXL’s capacity would be utilized by tight, light oil from the Bakken Formation, which is located in Montana and North Dakota, further contributing to U.S. energy security.

"KXL furthers our countries’ long history of cooperation," the website text continues, "by increasing the existing transport of Canadian and American crude to U.S. refineries, creating jobs and ensuring energy security for both our countries. Canada is already the largest oil supplier to the U.S. – in 2012 delivering 3 million barrels of crude and petroleum products per day, more than Saudi Arabia and Venezuela combined."

 

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Bob From IL

March 7, 2014 - 9:45pm

Without question, the Keystone XL pipeline is a disaster waiting to happen. I am surprised and disappointed that the American Legion would support this pipeline. Do some research and consider the source when doing so. Keystone XL will be bad for the environment and bad for Americans.

Suzanne T.

March 1, 2014 - 2:44am

I am surprised that the American Legion would support the pipeline, but heartened that so many members disagree with this position. That those in power, CEOs of large organization such as the American Legion, who have a lot of political clout, would stand for special interests and against the best interests and well-being of the citizens of the United States is simply disturbing. I agree with everyone's comments that Keystone XL should not be a concern of the American Legion.

Anonymous

February 13, 2014 - 3:05pm

Wow, a very divisive issue! Even the "Moderate Independent From a Mid-Western State" was moved to say that I "hate America and Veterans" (because I support this pipeline). How Moderate of him! This pipeline already crosses my ranch. The portion from Cushing, south, is well along in construction. Along with a boon in construction jobs, the task of refining the product that would be piped if the northern portion is completed, will support existing refining capability on the Gulf Coast. Because this is not "American Oil", it is not subject to the current (soon to change?) prohibition on exportation of US Oil. Therefore, it will also support the port industry, here in Texas. I can't guess about shipping because most of that is foreign flagged, something I would like to see Congress address (requiring more US labor participation, similar to existing, but threatened, regulations affecting airline labor. (I am an airline captain, thanks to my Air Force service). There's a lot of benefit, to every American, in this pipeline. Please do not dismiss the interests of your fellow veterans just because you don't see the benefit to you. We can disagree, and discuss, without condemning each other. That being said, I was surprised to see the Legion take an official position. I agree with many comments, that Legion clout needs to focus on Veteran issues and not create division with issues beyond that purview.

Dale Plumb

February 10, 2014 - 10:13am

I am no scientist and when I read in publications that the pipeline is either a boon to our country or a potential disaster, I believe in "considering the source" of the information I am reading. The latest I have read says that the State Dept. Has issued a "report" stating that the pipeline would add "as much carbon emissions to the atmosphere every year as 5.7million cars would". The report however concludes that "the Canadian oil would be burned in any case, leaving no environmental reason to block the pipeline". CONSIDER THE SOURCE OF THIS REPORT! The Wall St. Journal says: " the report proves that the pipeline won't impact climate change". CONSIDER THE SOURCE! Add to this, that both the report and the article overlook the possibility (inevitablity)of either a terrorist point of attack or the breakage and spilling of the crude in the heart of our food growing country! Furthermore, the rejection of a pipeline through Quebec and also our state of Maine, is and should be a warning. I think that the legion should do it's own scientific research on the idea rather than just accepting the "report" from the State Dept., before supporting the proposed 875mile pipeline through our country.

moonstroller

February 10, 2014 - 4:10pm

I am also concerned. We should also consider the question of Can Canada maintain it's part in protecting the Pipeline and will they seek money from the US to assist in this endevor? Will Canada use the Pipeline to affect Political influence in our country? Is there a Treaty associated with this pipline that prevents Canada from stopping the flow of Petroleum to our country? Some people in the State Department and other associations want to continue to support far off petroleum supplies coming from OPEC member States and will stop at nothing to generate missinformation about the pipeline.

Fred Nickens

February 8, 2014 - 10:31pm

I am so proud that there are so many Veterans that are so informed about this pipeline. I am saddened that this organization has SO miss informed it's readers. The many responses about the truth of why and who this pipeline will benefit, should have the next editorial clear the air with the truth. This oil pipeline is NOT for American consumption. But in fact will be shipped overseas. I too will have to consider whether I want to remain a member of an organization taking such an ill-considered position.

T Carlyle

February 8, 2014 - 10:45am

How can the Legion be this ignorant? This pipeline is Not Endorsed by me or my fellow Marines. I thought the Legion was supposed to represent us. How could I have been so wrong! I am cancelling my membership.

Moderate Independent from a midwestern state

February 7, 2014 - 9:30pm

This is sad. Very sad. The Canadian sand crude is being shipped to Texas where it can then be loaded up and shipped to China. The 1%ers get richer, while Legion members get to watch the price of a gallon of gas climb higher. The big controversy comes from the nature of sand oil. It's thick, and it sinks. When (not if) the pipeline spills sand crude above our aquifers, it will sink and destroy the water supply of millions of Americans and make it impossible for farmers in several states to make a living. Many of those thirsty Americans are Veterans. Many of those farmers are Veterans. How many Veterans who drive tank trucks will be put out of work by this stupid pipe? If you support the pipeline, you hate America and you hate Veterans. Fight the 1% and their teabag party!

Doc Johnson

February 7, 2014 - 4:27pm

Looks to me like the National Leadership needs to consult with us grunts before they make these kind of endorsements. And how is this in the Legion's prevue? Or maybe we are no longer a representative democracy and are under rule by executive order.

Lawrence Robertson

February 7, 2014 - 3:17pm

ow much less would it cost to build the refinery in North Dakota than piping it to Texas? It seems to me that it is just another Texas BOONDOGGLE. Keystone pipeline to Texas 2,148 miles, to Seattle 1,200 or better yet, build a pipeline to Greenbay, Wisconsin a distance of 612 miles at just over two billion dollars. Forget Texas and their seven billion dollar pipeline.

Eric Snyder

February 7, 2014 - 11:35am

This is not an issue on which the Legion should take a position.

Hannahs

February 7, 2014 - 11:24am

I may personally agree with many of the posters that this is a bad idea. BUT, the question I have, is why is this a Legion issue? Aside from the political persuasion of the leaders, this is a general economic issue. The legion should be working on COLA, Vet Healthcare, VA benefits backlog, etc. There are a lot of issues that the Legion leadership should be focussing on!

Dave in PA

February 7, 2014 - 11:05am

This is not a debate the American Legion should be involved in. It's essentially a political one pitting environmental and other related concerns against corporate profiteering. It's also a Democrat vs. Republican issue. The Legion is ignoring the issue a good portion of this tar sands oil will wind up being exported. Ergo the need for a pipeline to get it to port. The state department "environmental impact study" was essentially written for them by Big Oil. Naturally they're going to say there's no environmental risk.....until there is! So what is the American Legion doing getting involved here? Do I take it to mean that the American Legion is now a shill for big business and the Republican Party? Since it seems American Legion advocates for things I don't support I will seriously reevaluate whether to renew my membership when it comes due.

Bob Patterson

February 7, 2014 - 1:02am

The Keystone project is another example of what big greedy corporations and their politicians will do to make more $ while not caring about their fellow humans and the environment. I am ashamed to be an American Legion member with it supporting a project that will sell most of its product overseas while dangerously polluting our lands, Shame on you! This is not what our soldiers have died for!

Richard Hofacker

February 6, 2014 - 11:31pm

Up to now almost all the production from Alberta's oil sands has been by strip mining, but only 20 percent of the deposits are accessible that way, and they are running out. That means resorting to a far more expensive in-situ extraction: natural gas is burned to heat water into steam which is injected underground to liquify the oil so it can flow into a drilled well and be sucked up. Two metric tons of tar sands yield just one barrel of oil that most refineries can use. About five gallons of water are needed to get one gallon of oil. Some of the water is reused but the rest is a toxic mixture piped into large settling ponds. By 2011 the existing ponds covered an area the size of Washington D.C. They could be cleaned up, but the producing companies don't want to pay for it. Financial analysts estimate in situ processes add between $5.00 and $35.00 a barrel to production costs. We can expect the production companies to be reluctant to cover the costs and penalties if and when an accident occurs in the US. As far as those 20,000 jobs are concerned, watch them evaporate as soon as the project is completed.

Richard Ruth

February 6, 2014 - 10:33pm

The Keystone XL pipeline is a DISASTER waiting to happen. I do NOT understand how any responsible American could support it. The Legion supports it??? Count me out.

Rich Bensinger

February 6, 2014 - 9:35pm

This proposal is an economic and environmental disaster. The oil will not stay here except for that spilled in the inevitable leak.

J Adler

February 6, 2014 - 9:16pm

I think it is time to listen to the scientific community, rather than the politicians and the companies looking to make money on this boondoggle. Tar sands oil is extremely toxic, and there is no way to guarantee that spills won't occur. They already experienced a bad spill of this stuff in Michigan, and cleanup is nearly impossible. Our gas supply prices keep fluctuating up, based on reports of refineries being down for maintenance or just not able to keep up with demand. Now, they want to pipe this toxic mess down through the heart of the US and refine it in Houston, so they can ship it overseas. Shame on the American Legion for buying into this stack of lies.

Jim Ninefin

February 6, 2014 - 8:12pm

Looks like the Lib Eco Crowd are on a frenzy. The same people that want windmills that kill a Eagles are are energy inefficient. The same people who want solar panels that are inefficient. Anyone remember the Solandra fiasco? The U.S had an opportunity to. Build an energy efficient infrastructure and become completely independent of the Middle East. Bring our troops home and protect our own natural resources. I'm tired of having our troops overseas for political purposes.. When will we learn?

Jack McHale

February 6, 2014 - 7:55pm

I disagree with AL stand on any pipeline through America. We the people, only pay more for energy from big business on the world market. Let globe oil corperations refine " black gold" in Canada. It's always about money, are your kids going to drink oil in the future? Oh no tell west virgina that. Did the Legion receive money from oil interests? if not it sure sounds like. If the Legion want to help Veterans rethink your unwise dirty polluting oil companies.

Kevin Brehmer

February 6, 2014 - 9:00pm

I agree. And, ship it by rail.

Goody Khalsa

February 6, 2014 - 7:51pm

This is nothing but a boondoggle and should not be supported under any circumstances. It will all be sold overseas, make the rich even richer, create only a few temporary jobs, and forever dirty our homeland. It will leave us and our citizens used and thrown away like so much toilet paper. Don't fall for this line of malarkey fed to us by big oil again. One has only to look at our gulf coast to realize oil is no longer a sustainable option for our energy use. We must engage wholeheartedly in the production of clean energy and the jobs that go along with them. It's our duty to usher in the future and retire the obsolete past, so that our children and grandchildren can lead a long life on a healthy planet.

D Nelson

February 6, 2014 - 7:48pm

When are Americans gonna get a brain? We are gonna become a country just like the ones we fight! Foolish slugs! Wake up before we become the polluted mess so many other countries are!!! Follow the Republicans and corporations to our DOOM! Enjoy what clean water and air you can now. Who cares about the next generation, Right? Good luck to us all! By the way, who runs the American Legion to support such a dumb idea?

robert boberg

February 6, 2014 - 7:23pm

The American Legion has made a huge mistake in supporting the Keystone Pipeline would carry dirty thick crude across the American food basket.Oil that requires the addition of toxic chemicals to flow The pipeline would become a major terrorist target. It would force us to commit and rely on Fossil fuels for 50 years.This would put alternate source of energy on the back burner and the co2 level increase would present a catastrophic environmental disaster in real terms of climate change. This ignorant decision will warrant my resignation from the American Legion.

Goody Khalsa

February 6, 2014 - 7:58pm

I couldn't agree more, and I would stand with you and burn my Legion Card unless they retract this ignorant and inadvisable position. We as a nation have been led down the garden path of "use it up and throw it away" for far too long, and we can no longer maintain this untenable position without courting destruction for everyone here.

Bob Philbrook

February 6, 2014 - 6:57pm

It makes no sense for the legion to support the keystone pipeline. The pipe will be Chinese, the workforce to install the pipe is temporary, the risks of leaks significant, the oil is Canadian, the refineries are in a free trade zone so no tariffs or taxes will be imposed, and the refined oil will be shipped for foreign buyers. Sounds like the Legion doesn't know what the real facts are about Keystone!

Carl Nye

February 6, 2014 - 7:55pm

Bob, you are absolutely correct. The Keystone XL pipeline will do nothing to reduce our dependence on foreign oil (unless we keep what will inevitably be spilled, and find a way to refine it. Good luck with that.) The Legion has made a serious error supporting this project. Is it a safe project? Canada considered running the pipeline straight to the Pacific Ocean, but the government of British Columbia refused to allow it to pass through their province. Canada also considered running the pipeline all the way across the continent to end in Maine. No luck with that proposal either. This pipeline is one huge catastrophe waiting to happen. Think again, Legion. Not that your support will make a difference one way or the other, but why not be on the right side of the issue?

Jim C

February 6, 2014 - 6:53pm

Don't any of you people know that this oil will be sold overseas- it's low quality and what pipeline hasn't ruptured at least once or twice especially if private companies are running it- the $ rules. The legion doesn't speak for me if they're backing this republican money grab- what else do those losers do?

Mick Cole

February 6, 2014 - 5:30pm

This is quite disturbing. Tar Sands oil is a major threat to the environment and the Legion should be opposing the pipeline, not supporting it. Frankly, I will have to consider whether I want to remain a member of an organization taking such an ill-considered position.

Chuck Gembinski

February 6, 2014 - 5:01pm

So is this oil to stay here or is it being shipped to other countries? I understood that this is part of a pipeline that finally ends up at a port.

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