American GI Forum of Texas Supports Keystone XL Pipeline; To Testify at Austin Public Meeting

AUSTIN, TEXAS--(Marketwire - Sept. 28, 2011) - The American GI Forum of Texas, Inc.- the nation's only federally chartered Hispanic veterans organization - supports the Keystone XL Project and urges the Department of State to approve its permit in the national interest.

Keystone XL will deliver conflict-free oil that will not require placing America's young men and women in harms way, and it will positively and immediately create jobs during construction. Once in operation, it will generate annual job and other economic gain for Texas and the United States by reducing high-energy costs.

Energy is a vital part of our country's defense and is an important part of Texas' and the nation's diverse economies. Our continued dependence on oil from Venezuela and the Middle East has increased energy costs and has brought high prices at the fuel pumps.

The construction of Keystone XL pipeline will benefit Veterans – including our Hispanic veterans and our men and women serving in our military. We are dedicated supporters of the brave men and women who have put their lives on the line to protect our liberties, who deserve nothing less than good jobs and good business opportunities.

We invite others to join in support of the Keystone XL project, and have sent letters to Secretary Hilary Clinton urging that the Department of State to grant Keystone XL Pipeline its permit for this project, which is vital to Americans, our National Security and American Economy.

We understand the Department of State's basis for decision is whether the pipeline is in the national interest. Clearly, it is. Reducing dependency on middle-eastern and other overseas oil and increasing energy and national security provide compelling reasons to issue the permit. The fact that pipelines are a safer and more environmentally sound way to deliver oil than are the tankers we rely on today only adds to the national interest.

The environmental review process for Keystone XL has been the most exhaustive and detailed review for a cross-border pipeline ever been undertaken by of the Department of State. It found there would be no significant impacts to resources along the pipeline corridor.

Keystone XL is especially important to young veterans, whose 11.5 percent unemployment rate is well above the national average. Hispanics, likewise, suffer unemployment well above the national average. Keystone XL's shovel-ready jobs provide an opportunity to do something about that.

The Keystone XL pipeline is important to veterans and our nation for several reasons:

  • Keystone XL will provide conflict-free oil – reducing the need to send America's young men and women into harm's way in foreign conflicts.
  • The $7 billion TransCanada will spend developing Keystone XL will stimulate a total of $20 billion of new spending in the economy – at a time when private sector spending is badly needed for the economy
  • Keystone XL will directly create 20,000 family-supporting jobs – 13,000 in constructing the pipeline, another 7,000 in manufacturing.
  • The $7 billion spent developing Keystone XL will stimulate more than 118,000 jobs, including direct and spin-off jobs during the construction period.
  • Building Keystone XL will increase Americans' personal income by $6.5 billion.
  • Building Keystone XL will lead to more than $585 million in state and local taxes along the pipeline route.
  • Operating Keystone XL will pay property taxes of $5 billion over the lifetime of the project, allowing counties to invest in new schools, roads and hospitals.
  • The U.S. has a simple choice: receive more of its oil from a secure, stable and longstanding friendly neighbor, which is Canada, or continue get its oil from volatile, unstable regimes overseas that are not friendly and do not share the interests and values of Americans.
  • Keystone XL can reduce America's dependence on oil from Venezuela and the Middle East by up to 40 per cent.
  • As much as 25 percent of the oil delivered by Keystone XL will be U.S.-produced oil from North Dakota, Montana and Oklahoma – domestic oil which bottlenecks currently keep from getting efficiently to refineries.
  • Keystone XL is shovel-ready. TransCanada plans to begin construction very shortly after receiving its permit. That means quickly putting 20,000 Americans to work on the pipeline – including pipefitters, welders, mechanics, electricians, heavy equipment operators, among others.

AGIF Texas believes the United States needs this pipeline and we need it now. Speaking as veterans who have supported the nation in its times of greatest need, we urge the Department of State now to do the same for us and for all citizens in this time of great need.

The American GI Forum (AGIF) is the nation's only federally chartered Hispanic veterans organization, founded in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1948 by Dr. Hector P. Garcia. We advocate for the interests of veterans, and for our young men and women in uniform. In this spirit, our State and National organizations unanimously adopted a resolution supporting Keystone XL at our State and National Conferences.

The American GI Forum of Texas, Inc.

"Education is Our Freedom and Freedom Should be Everybody's Business"

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc.
Ceasar Ruiz
Public Relations Officer
(512) 225-5888
(512) 992-7066 (FAX)
www.agiftx.org

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc.
Public Relations Office
1000 Brazos, Suite 100
Austin, Texas 78701