August 25, 2011

Regarding Bill McKibben’s Aug. 17 op-ed piece and Susan Casey-Lefkowitz’s Aug. 21 letter on the Keystone XL pipeline proposal:

Someday renewable energy will power America, but that day won’t be anytime soon. U.S. energy demand will grow by 20 percent between 2009 and 2035, and more than half of it will be met by oil and natural gas. Americans, then, must choose. Should we rely on unstable regions for energy? Or, should we further develop our own resources and supplement them with supplies from our North American neighbors, described in March by President Obama as “stable and steady and reliable.” Given that building the pipeline will create thousands of jobs at a time when jobs are desperately needed, the choice should be obvious. The pipeline will bring Canadian crude to refineries in the Gulf Coast, which then can distribute fuel to the East and Midwest.

Saying no to it won’t halt development of oil sands. It’ll only mean that the oil will be shipped to other countries that have less-stringent refining regulations.

Cindy Schild, Washington

The writer is the manager for refinery issues at the American Petroleum Institute.