by the United Association
Last year, the U.S. spent approximately $434 billion on foreign oil.i That’s more than $1 billion each day. Too many of these dollars go to governments that are at once hostile to our country and do not enforce the same environmental or safety standards.
The unemployment rate in the construction industry reached 18% in 2012. In some regions of the U.S., unemployment remains above 20%.
The Keystone XL pipeline will provide a much-needed boost to the U.S. building and construction industry, generating thousands of high-quality jobs as well as a number of other key economic benefits—including jobs in related industries and millions of dollars in state and local tax revenues.
The pipeline also stands to provide a jump-start to our country’s manufacturing sector. Most of the piping and related components for Keystone will be made here in North America. This gives manufacturers a chance to expand their capacity and create new facilities—meaning more jobs for U.S. workers. These are jobs with good pay and benefits–—jobs that working families desperately need.
According to the State Department, Keystone XL will create a yearly average of approximately 42,100 jobs across the U.S. during its construction as well as generate more than $2.05 billion in employment earnings. ii
The Keystone XL pipeline will provide high-paying skilled jobs for welders, pipefitters, laborers, electricians, safety coordinators, heavy equipment operators and other workers whose livelihoods depend on large construction projects. Thousands of additional jobs will be supported in manufacturing the steel pipe and the thousands of fittings, valves, pumps and control devices required for a major oil pipeline.
Infrastructure projects like Keystone XL also give the country an opportunity to help members of the military who are transitioning back into civilian life. Our nation’s youngest veterans are facing unemployment rates that are double—sometimes triple—that of the civilian population. With returned military in mind, the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry (UA) developed the Veterans in Piping (VIP) Program, the only training program that prepares service members for a job prior to military discharge. The UA, without a single tax dollar, provides these men and women with high-quality training, and then places them in steady jobs with employers such as TransCanada, the owner of Keystone XL pipeline. Too many of our nation’s heroes are out of work. The Keystone XL pipeline will greatly help to alleviate and rectify this injustice.
The United Association works very hard to update training and technologies to incorporate the latest methods for building safe, sustainable infrastructure. The UA invests more than a quarter of a billion dollars on training each year to ensure that its members are the best trained workforce in the world.
In terms of performance, reliability and quality, the expertise brought to this project by the safest and most experienced pipeline workers in the world is in large part why the Department of State has concluded that Keystone poses no threat to the environment.
The Keystone XL project will incorporate the latest sustainable technology and materials available, including corrosion-proof piping and 24/7 monitoring. Automatic shut-off valves would be activated within minutes to ensure that the environment and local communities are protected should a problem ever occur.
Each year, billions of gallons of oil and natural gas are transported safely via 2.5 million miles of pipelines. Modern pipelines are the safest and most secure way to transport energy products. They are efficient, affordable, and require less energy to operate than alternatives. Pipelines are an essential part of our energy infrastructure and support high-paying construction and manufacturing jobs across the country.
Many of our oil and natural gas pipelines––which are responsible for transporting much of our nation’s energy––have been in place for upwards of 60 years. These outdated systems are prone to leak methane, which accounts for 18% of U.S. emissions. If we want to seriously address climate change and create good jobs that strengthen our economy, we should upgrade our nation’s aging infrastructure and create more jobs like the Keystone XL project.
Jobs, economic growth, energy security. Considering these factors, it is clear why Congress and 85% of American people support the approval of this vital project. iii
i U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. Imports by Country of Origin, 2012.
ii U.S. Department of State, Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, March 2013.
iii Harris Interactive, Keystone XL Pipeline Poll, June 2013, Q5.
Posted on: August 10th, 2013