When the Trans-Alaska pipeline was first proposed in 1970 the environmental movement launched an all-out effort to stop it based on claims that the heated oil would destroy the permafrost, earthquakes would rupture the pipeline, massive oil leaks would permanently scar the tundra, contaminate the hundreds of pristine streams and rivers in the path of the pipeline and halt the annual migration of the Porcupine caribou herd.

None of those prophecies came to pass.

The Trans-Alaska pipeline stands as the most economically successful, socially beneficial and environmentally sound energy development venture ever undertaken by our nation.

Our energy revolution can be a unifying force for the nation. We can be good stewards of the earth while relying on our own vast reserves of natural resources. We are building energy-efficient engines and power plants. We are developing clean and alternative energy solutions while becoming better energy consumers and conservers. Wind, solar, biomass, nuclear, coal, natural gas and hydro all have a place in the future.

The only thing holding our great nation back is political paralysis.

President Barack Obama made promises to labor and to the environmental movement. He can’t keep both. His green-jobs promise cannot be fulfilled in a weak economy. Many thousands of union and non-union jobs have not materialized because of energy policy gridlock.

The Keystone XL pipeline is as important to the growth of U.S. jobs and energy self-sufficiency today as the Trans-Alaska pipeline was more than 40 years ago.

Obama signed off on the southern link of the Keystone XL pipeline project and it is now under construction. The routing issue of the pipeline in Nebraska has been resolved. There is too much at stake for this shovel-ready project to languish any longer.

— The Grand Island Independent, Nebraska, Sept. 9

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