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Nancy Smith

API Boss on Keystone XL Pipeline: 'We Are Resolved to Continue the Fight'

December 5, 2014 - 6:00pm

In a national media press conference and a message to the White House Friday, one of the nation's top private-sector authorities on the American petroleum industry promised to stiffen the fight to make the overdue Keystone XL Pipeline a reality.

Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, made a point of telling the president neither he nor the industry will ever give up on the the TransCanada pipeline project, set to transport up to 830,000 barrels of oil-sands crude per day from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

"As we told President Obama in November, Keystone XL is not going away. ... And we are resolved to continue the fight," Gerard told reporters and editors in an opening address.

"President Obamas approach to Keystone XL has been to delay a decision until after the next election, then the next. With no more elections left, its time for the president to look beyond the next election cycle to the next generation and do whats right for Americas future," he said.

Gerard said API has "an ad campaign ready to launch, and we look forward to continuing to work with our labor allies on behalf of American families and workers who want this pipeline built."

On Nov. 18 Keystone proponents in the Senate -- mostly Republicans -- fell one vote short of authorizing construction of the pipeline. In essence, Democrats hung out to dry an old friend -- embattled Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu -- in favor of their pro-environment base.

Democrat Landrieu tried hard to rally her troops for the vote, in fact even insisted she had the 60 supporters necessary to cross the key procedural threshold.

Louisiana is overwhelmingly pro-pipeline and so is her Republican runoff opponent. She now goes into today's runoff a 2-point underdog.

The Keystone vote served as a preview of the confrontations that lie ahead in Washington. Obama is on track to overhaul immigration rules on his own by the end of the year -- a move that is pushing some conservatives to consider shutting down the government in retaliation.

As soon as the new Republican Congress is sworn in next year, expect Keystone to return, along with efforts to curtail Obamacare, raising the prospect of Obama issuing a series of vetoes.

Gerard nevertheless wants to elevate Keystone's visibility.

"Now is not the time to sit back and assume our energy resurgence will coast along on auto pilot," he told reporters. "This is the time to invest in the infrastructure and policies we need to achieve the full benefits of energy advances and secure a stable supply of energy for decades to come. The rest of the world is certainly not sitting on their hands in the face of Americas emerging energy dominance."

Further, Gerard said, "OPEC is holding production steady to protect market share, Australia is in the midst of a major LNG {liquid natural gas} export build-out to capture Asian markets before we do, and more than 60 LNG projects around the world are under development with the same goal.

"Our global competitors are surely happy that weve spent six years forfeiting an increase of 830,000 barrels per day in stable oil supply."


Reach Nancy Smith at nsmith@sunshinestatenews.com or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith

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