Approve Keystone XL pipeline

Posted February 27, 2014 at 2:29 pm

Vicky Hartzler columns.jpg

Good Day,

It is not every day that Republicans and Democrats come together in support of the same projects. But it is heartening to see many of the people’s representatives joining forces in urging the White House to act in the best interests of our country by ending the delay in approving construction of the Keystone XL pipeline to create thousands of jobs and to bring much-needed oil from Canada to the United States.

It has been six years since the review process began and the State Department’s Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement shows no significant impact on the environment. It clears the way for President Obama to give this important project the green light. Building the Keystone pipeline will create thousands of direct jobs for construction workers, welders, mechanics, electricians, pipefitters, and heavy equipment operators. In addition, tens of thousands of jobs will be created through the supply chain. Economists estimate the Keystone pipeline will create 20,000 manufacturing and construction jobs with an additional 118,000 spin-off jobs.

America must find solutions to its energy needs while putting Americans back to work. And construction of the Keystone XL pipeline is a step in the right direction. Unions want it and the people are demanding it. It Is time to stop the stalling and to approve this worthy project.

On another matter, I recently spoke from the floor of the House in support of the A-10 jet aircraft that is in danger of being prematurely retired. The A-10 has provided air support for American forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. It has been described by the Air Force Chief of Staff as the best airplane in the world at what it does. In my comments, I encouraged the Air Force not to retire the A-10 before its replacement plane reaches full capacity. Early retirement could unnecessarily threaten American service members in future conflicts.

As Americans, we have no greater responsibility than ensuring the safety of our men and women in uniform by providing them with the support they need to accomplish their missions and return home safely. The A-10 is still a valuable asset to our national defense. It is not yet time to retire this tried and true “veteran” of American military warfare.

Finally, I want to share the important work being done by the Missouri Veterans History Project (MVHP), a Columbia-based not-for-profit corporation organized to interview and record the stories of our veterans. The MVHP, which was founded in 2011, trains volunteers to collect the stories of our veterans, organizes community-based groups to interview as many veterans as possible, and makes these recordings available to the State Historical Society of Missouri, the Library of Congress and Missouri’s veterans.

I urge veterans who want to tell their stories, volunteers who want to interview veterans about their stories, and those who would like to provide financial support or assist in other efforts to contact the Missouri Veterans History Project by calling 573-522-4220 or emailing at Recording the memories of Missouri’s military veterans is a most valuable effort and allows this rich history to be preserved for today’s and future generations.

Have a great week.