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TAUC submitted comments to the U.S. Department of State providing support for the development of the Keystone XL Pipeline. The Department of State requested comments after publishing their final report of the environmental impact of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
The comments that TAUC submitted are as follows:
As a trade association representing more than 2,000 union contractor firms in the industrial construction and maintenance field – many of which specialize in serving the U.S. energy sector – The Association of Union Constructors (TAUC) is grateful for the opportunity to comment on the State Department’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) on the Keystone XL Pipeline.
TAUC is pleased that the FEIS has confirmed once again that the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline project will not pose a threat to the environment and will not measurably increase greenhouse gas emissions.
The Keystone XL Pipeline project has been thoroughly – and repeatedly – vetted by the nation’s leading environmental experts over the past five years. In fact, as others have pointed out (including William Hite, General President of the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry), Keystone is the most thoroughly scrutinized major infrastructure project in the history of the United States.
It is time for the Keystone XL Pipeline project to move forward. Thousands of well-paying middle-class jobs depend on it – jobs our union contractors, together with their partners in the building trades, are willing and eager to fill. Our country, weakened by several years of economic upheaval and uncertainty, needs these jobs now more than ever.
TAUC has been a supporter of the Keystone project from the very beginning. In the Fall of 2011, TAUC officials participated in a rally in Washington, D.C. in support of the Pipeline. The rally was organized by several building trades unions, including the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA). And in January 2012, when the State Department initially rejected TransCanada’s application to build the pipeline, TAUC CEO Stephen Lindauer stated, “The fact is, if the pipeline isn’t built, the oil is still going to be used. It will be sent to China along with any new jobs and economic benefits. On behalf of union craft workers and our contractors, we urge the administration to quickly review and approve the new application so that our country’s economic recovery can finally begin.”
Two years later, Mr. Lindauer’s words still ring true. Crude oil will be extracted from Canada’s oil sands no matter what, and the Keystone pipeline is the safest and most efficient method to transport that oil to market – much safer than rail or tanker trucks.
TAUC urges the State Department to carefully review the conclusions in the FEIS and then immediately move to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline project.