President Obama, New Hampshire Needs the Keystone XL Pipeline

On Thursday, President Barack Obama will visit Nashua as he continues to campaign for reelection and promote his plan for improving the American economy.

I want to be among the first to welcome President Obama to our great state.

Granite Staters, like all Americans, want to see the country’s economic engine roaring. They want to see new jobs being created, not new reports of rising unemployment numbers. And so, we look forward to hearing what the President has to say about how we can get American working again.

Like President Obama in his State of the Union address, New Hampshire is concerned about America’s energy future and we want to see it secured. Our economy needs energy to grow and create.

For far too long we have been dependent on oil from the Middle East. And as a result of that longstanding dependence, we have been routinely held hostage to exceedingly high prices from OPEC and the political turmoil that roils most of the region.

Do we really want to continue to have our energy needs held at the mercy of rogue nations like Iran, whose threat to shut down the Gulf of Hormuz would wreak havoc on the global energy market?

Americans are looking for solutions that will not only help jump-start our economy, but that will put Americans to work securing our energy future.

The Keystone XL pipeline is a solution that addresses all of these concerns. Unfortunately, it’s a solution that the President has quite regrettably rejected.

The pipeline would connect America to Canada’s oil-rich oil sands. Not only would it open up a new, stronger relationship with our neighbors and allies to the north, it would put 20,000 Americans to work immediately constructing the pipeline.

And, most experts predict that the economic activity generated from the development of the Keystone pipeline will add tens of thousands of more jobs to the American economy.

That’s 20,000 immediate new jobs, and tens of thousands more, just waiting to be created upon approval of the pipeline. Now that’s a project that is truly shovel-ready!

Like President Obama, we believe it is important to explore all sources of energy. But we must be realistic. We are going to have a significant need for oil into the foreseeable future. With 94% of our petroleum going to fuel transportation, we quite literally need oil to keep American moving.

We must create new domestic sources of energy. And the American people understand this need. A recent Pew Research Center poll shows 66% of people in favor of Keystone. Independents favor Keystone’s construction by a 2-to-1 margin, 66%-27%.

Families from New Hampshire, and across the country, will benefit from policies that allow us to take advantage of resources like Canada’s oil sands. But the President’s initial rejection of Keystone puts us at risk of losing out on this opportunity.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has already opened up talks with China about the possibility of building a pipeline to the west coast instead of the Keystone pipeline to the Gulf of Mexico.

That means we’d watch while much-needed energy and jobs were sent to China instead of created here in America.

Mr. President, the time is now for the Keystone XL pipeline. Let’s take advantage on this golden opportunity to put Americans to work securing our energy future.

We can’t afford to let it pass us by.

John E. Lyons, Jr. is owner of Lyons Law Offices in Portsmouth and Chairman of the NH Energy Forum,

Author: John E. Lyons, Jr.

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