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Job Creation and Our Energy Choices

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To the Editor:

Niv Bavarsky

Re “Where the Real Jobs Are” (editorial, Jan. 2):

TransCanada has been constructing and operating natural gas and oil pipelines for more than 60 years. We know what it takes to build multimillion-dollar pieces of infrastructure — the amount of equipment, the materials and the number of workers.

The $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline is the largest infrastructure project planned in the United States right now. It will create 20,000 jobs: 13,000 in construction, 7,000 in manufacturing.

Construction of the 1,600-mile pipeline is broken down into 17 pipeline spreads, or sections, with 500 workers per spread — that’s 8,500 workers.

Keystone XL also needs 30 pump stations, each requiring 100 workers — that’s 3,000 jobs. Add in another 600 jobs that will be needed for the six construction camps and tank construction at Cushing, Okla.

A project of such magnitude needs construction and management and inspection oversight — the 1,000 workers here brings the overall Keystone XL total to more than 13,000 direct, on-site jobs. These are new, real American jobs — not person-hours; there is no double counting here.

The $6 billion Keystone pipeline that has safely delivered more than 160 million barrels of oil to the Midwest since the summer of 2010 created 9,000 construction jobs. This is a reality that our opponents cannot ignore.

The Keystone XL project is also expected to create 7,000 manufacturing jobs involving companies like Welspun, Cameron, Siemens and dozens of others. Based on all of this practical, factual data, the employment benefits of Keystone XL are very clear.

Calgary, Alberta, Jan. 3, 2012

Mr. Jones is vice president of Keystone Pipeline System. Mr. Millar is manager of corporate communications and media relations for TransCanada.

To the Editor:

You say in your editorial that President Obama should reject construction of the Keystone XL pipeline because “this is precisely the moment for him to argue the case for alternative fuel sources and clean energy jobs.” Such an argument is a false choice.

Opportunities for more efficient buildings and wind and nuclear energy address electricity needs, not transportation needs that depend on oil. Thus, they will have virtually no effect on our dangerous foreign oil addiction.

I am lead author of the bipartisan language requiring President Obama to act on Keystone XL in 60 days. Your editorial is wrong in asserting that there is not enough time for a decision. The three-year environmental impact analysis has been completed, and strong environmental requirements are built into the legislation.

The Times is correct that “American voters are smart enough to see through the ridiculous pipeline gambit.” A recent Rasmussen poll indicated that voters favored the pipeline by 53 percent to 29 percent, with only 17 percent undecided, showing a strong understanding of the issues involved.

Washington, Jan. 4, 2012

The writer is a Republican senator from Indiana.

To the Editor:

The problem with your editorial about the Canadian pipeline is the same one that is paralyzing politics all over the country. It takes an uncompromising position on one side of an issue and ignores the reality of the situation we face.

The development of new energy sources is a solid and sensible plan. Oil and other current fuel sources are finite. Environmentalists are also right to be concerned about the extraction of oil in light of the spill in the Gulf.

But to ignore the fact that this country runs on oil and coal and will continue to do so for many years to come until alternate energy sources can be developed in an affordable way and on a mass scale is just plain foolish.

Tapping into friendly Canadian and domestic oil sources and going full steam ahead in developing alternate fuel sources make economic and political sense. Why can’t we accomplish both?


Chicago, Jan. 2, 2012

To the Editor:

Your editorial about the Keystone XL pipeline project is right on the mark. Oil is a sunset industry with little future and no lasting job growth. President Obama understands that the high-paying American jobs of the future are in alternative technologies, but again seems to lack the courage to really stand up for what he knows to be the better policy.

In 2008, I became an Obama supporter when he courageously refused to sign on to the proposal of a gas tax holiday, a gimmick supported by Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and John McCain. He should likewise reject this latest misguided energy policy.

Towson, Md., Jan. 2, 2012

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