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Key questions remain on pipeline construction

The construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which is intended to transfer oil from Canada to a Texas oil refinery, has been in debate for several years. Many arguments have been voiced for and against the project, such as environmental and safety concerns versus reducing our dependence on Mideast oil supplies and job creation. Although there is an eagerness from our Canadian partners to proceed, there is also a strong division in Congress and among our citizens concerning the benefits to our economy and the impact on our environment.

With our high unemployment, the issue of job creation through the construction of such a project deserves serious consideration. The idea of creating employment for several thousand workers building this pipeline is surely not without merit. But who will be the suppliers for these pipes? A pipeline of this magnitude requires an enormous amount of material and labor. U.S. manufacturers of both the sheet metal and the finished product will not only add substantial employment but tax revenues as well. If, however, the material is supplied from outside the United States, the benefits then become somewhat questionable. The intent here is not to promote protectionism, but to insist on an honest overview for the employment potential this project will provide for American workers.

For a project of this magnitude, our citizens deserve to be informed of the impact the pipeline will have on our economy and environment.

Fred Bonisch

West Seneca