The 1,700-mile project planned by TransCanada has been touted as an economic boon and a much-needed move toward energy security, but environmentalists have voiced ardent opposition to the project.
The American Petroleum Institute and other groups estimate the project could create 1 million new jobs in the next seven years and bring in $127 billion in government revenue without raising taxes. Others in favor of the pipeline say if the U.S. doesn't agree to participate, Canada will still prodce the oil and just sell it abroad.
The American Trucking Associations last month asked the government to move ahead with approval for the project.
"Diesel fuel is, and will likely continue to be, the lifeblood of the American trucking industry," ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said. "The State Department can help ensure that the 18-wheelers that deliver America's essential goods like food, fuel and medicine have reliable access to that fuel by approving the Keystone XL project. Approving this project would give a green light to thousands of new jobs and a much needed economic stimulus."
Richard Moskowitz, ATA vice president and regulatory affairs counsel, testified on behalf of the federation during the State Department's hearing that importing petroleum from Canada, rather than unstable regimes in other parts of the world, will help the trucking industry, he said, by increasing the stability of supply and making the price of diesel less susceptible to price spikes.
"The development of Keystone XL will provide a stable, long-term supply of crude oil from Montana, the Dakotas and Canada - one of our strongest and most loyal allies - to refineries in the United States," Moskowitz said. "The United States reliance on imported oil places U.S. consumers at greater risk of supply disruptions and damaging price spikes. Volatile diesel prices harm the trucking industry and jeopardize the U.S. economy."