October 6, 2011
TALLAHASSEE – Associated Industries of Florida (AIF), in conjunction with the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), today submitted 16,024 public comments from Florida residents supporting the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline expansion. The comments were submitted to the U.S. Department of State, which must issue the final necessary permit to allow the Keystone XL project to proceed.
“The expansion of the Keystone XL Pipeline is a critical component of a national energy strategy that will ensure the U.S. has access to a stable, long-term energy supply through North American sources and will help our nation gain energy independence from uncertain foreign markets. In addition, the Keystone XL will create desperately needed jobs, jump start economic growth and provide additional federal and state tax revenue,” said Jose L. Gonzalez, AIF Vice-President, Governmental Affairs. “Florida families and businesses will also benefit from the expansion of the pipeline since it will supply Gulf coast refineries that produce the vast majority of gasoline and diesel sold in Florida. These refineries are currently supplied by offshore production in the Gulf of Mexico and imports shipped across the Gulf. The Keystone XL Pipeline expansion offers an alternative supply route, which may prove critical when situations, such as hurricanes, disrupt Gulf oil production and shipping lanes.”
The 1,700-mile proposed Keystone XL Pipeline expansion would deliver 700,000 barrels of U.S. and Canadian crude oil per day to refineries along the Gulf Coast in Texas. The Keystone XL received approval from Canada’s National Energy Board in 2010, but the project also requires a Presidential Permit from the U.S. Department of State because it crosses an international border. In June, CEA delivered more than 62,000 public comments supporting the project to the State Department, all of which came from people living in the six states through which the proposed pipeline will travel: Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
“The Keystone XL Pipeline will be the safest pipeline ever built in the United States, and construction will help create more than 20,000 jobs nationwide. The pipeline will also generate more than $20 billion in new economic growth for the struggling U.S. economy. The 700,000 barrels of oil per day that will flow through Keystone XL will help reduce fuel prices for families coast to coast, and dramatically improve our energy security by reducing our reliance on Middle Eastern oil,” said Michael Whatley, CEA Executive Vice President. “These comments that we are submitting today from thousands of Floridians reflect what people across the country are saying: we need jobs, we need a stronger economy, and we need to build the Keystone XL Pipeline.”