Letter to the Editor: U.S. needs liquid fuel energy


I would like to respond to a letter by Michael Cash, which appeared in your Sept. 3 issue, criticizing Congressman Bob Goodlatte for his support of the Keystone XL pipeline. That letter contains numerous misstatements and spurious conclusions. I believe the record needs to be set straight.

The simple fact is that the U.S. needs liquid fuel energy. To say “…there is no benefit to this country in building this pipeline” is just wrong. Increased supply of Canadian oil, refined in the U.S., provides additional supplies, which in turn keeps pressure on prices.

Farmers and ranchers may not want this pipeline “in my backyard” but the compensating balance is the pocket books of the U.S. consumers, who will pay less than otherwise for liquid fuels. This balancing of interests is the basis for the states’ exercise of their eminent domain authority, taking land for a public use. Historically, this includes railroads, highways, canals, electric utility lines, and yes, pipelines.

The “few jobs” contention is another misstatement. Building the pipeline will be a major construction initiative, involving thousands of U.S. jobs, both in construction and for support services, and then subsequently for the corollary refining and distribution and spin-off small business creation. Also, the pipeline becomes an American-based asset and its operations and profits are taxed here. Oil from a friendly Canada offsets imports from questionable sources. The Canadian alternative is to sell the oil to China.

Most disturbing is the implication that somehow making profit on an investment is wrong. The statement “…asking me to support a Canadian corporation taking American land so it can make money” contorts the truth. More correctly, a Canadian corporation is acquiring land to build a pipeline, which provides oil, creates jobs, enhances the U.S. economy, decreases our dependence on foreign oil and yes makes a profit on the money it invested.

Writing a letter replete with half-truths and jingo statements does not advance the political dialogue. Instead, Goodlatte should be congratulated for supporting an initiative clearly in the U.S. interest.

Dominic J. Repici, Front Royal