How the Keystone XL pipeline would help the US, and why some oppose it

How would the US benefit from the proposed pipeline?

Graphic: Rich Clabaugh/Staff, Source: US Energy Information Administration

It comes down to energy security and jobs, supporters say. TransCanada is predicting that 20,000 new jobs will be created for the pipeline’s construction. An additional 118,000 indirect jobs will follow for ancillary support businesses in each state, the company estimates. Supporters say the jobs will not be concentrated just in the states the pipeline passes through, but in other states that produce the materials, such as the piping and pump motors.

The company also promises to deliver more than $5 billion in property taxes each year for the six states traversed by the pipeline.

The pipeline would improve US energy security by providing more oil from a friendly, stable, and reliable neighbor, while reducing US dependence on imports from regions that have shaky environmental regulations and political climates, such as Venezuela and the Middle East, Keystone XL supporters say.

The pipeline would also transport up to 65,000 bpd from the Bakken deposits.

Canada is already the largest supplier of oil into the US and growing, pumping supplying 2.6 million barrels per day on average in 2011, more than it did the previous year and more than double that of Mexico, in second place with 1.2 million barrels per day. Supporters say the pipeline will ensure that Canada maintains its leadership in the years to come.

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