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FORUM: Keystone XL Pipeline important to energy infrastructure

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To: U.S. State Department

RE: The Keystone Pipeline

The nation's pipelines are a transportation system. Pipelines enable the safe movement of extraordinary quantities of energy products to industry and consumers, literally fueling our economy and way of life. They are arteries of the nation's energy infrastructure, as well as one of the safest and least costly ways to transport energy products, our oil and gas pipelines provide the resources needed for national defense, heat and cool our homes, generate power for business and fuel an unparalleled transportation system.

The nation's more than 2.6 million miles of pipelines safely deliver trillions of cubic feet of natural gas and hundreds of billions of ton/miles of liquid petroleum products each year. They are essential because the volume of energy products they move are well beyond the capacity of other forms of transportation. It would take a constant line of tanker trucks, about 750 per day, loading up and moving out every two minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to move the volume of even a modest pipeline. The railroad-equivalent of this single pipeline would be a train of 75 2,000-barrel tank rail cars every day.

The Keystone XL pipeline is a small, but important part of this infrastructure. It is an environmentally sound method of transporting fuels across our country, particularly when you consider the alternative forms of transportation: namely, shipping by rail or truck, which also have to pass over rivers and other environmentally sensitive areas.

One also needs consider the tremendous amount of damage incurred in northern states to our highways by truck traffic, particularly during the spring breakup. It is unfathomable to me why this project is being held up. That logic, or lack thereof, escapes me. Both of our South Dakota senators are in agreement with the project.

Let’s move ahead with this construction and get the job done.

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