Michael Whatley

Faced with declining imports from Mexico and Venezuela, the Gulf Coast refineries will replace these supplies with new crude supplies from either Canada, Montana, and the Dakotas via Keystone XL, or the Middle East via tankers. The choice is fairly simple – get cheaper oil from reliable North American reserves, or more expensive oil from unstable regions subject to disruptions. One needs to look no further than the crisis surrounding the Strait of Hormuz to understand which way we should be going as a nation.

Given the vast implications inherent in Keystone XL’s approval, and the fact that gas prices in 2011 set a record high and are projected to increase in 2012, the American people deserve an open and honest debate about this project.

Keystone XL represents an opportunity to reduce our dependence on OPEC, increase price stability and lower prices at the pump for American drivers. Hollywood actors and actresses may not understand that, but the American people do.

Michael Whatley

Michael Whatley is Executive Vice President of the Consumer Energy Alliance.