Michael Whatley

Ensuring our sources of oil to produce these goods are not interrupted is fundamental to national security. That means securing American energy independence over the long-term and, in the short-term, maintaining crude inventories that will sustain our economy during periods of unrest when overseas supplies may be interrupted.

How do we stand in this regard? Well, we are finally moving toward energy self-sufficiency thanks to positive developments on several fronts. The US only imported 40% of its oil from foreign countries in 2012, which is down from as high as 60% in earlier years. True independence is still several years away, but there is a silver lining in that our largest supplier of foreign oil is our neighbor, friend and ally Canada. It supplied 28% of our imports, while much of the rest came from Saudi Arabia (13%), Venezuela (9%) and Russia (5%).

No one wants the U.S. dependent upon those last three, all of which are opposed to U.S. interests in significant ways. Therefore, the logical thing to do is to shift more of our sourcing from those nations to the U.S. itself and Canada. The Keystone XL Pipeline is the vehicle to do this because it will serve to deliver both Bakken (North Dakota) and Canadian oil to our major refineries on the Gulf Coast.

That’s ultimately what national security is all about - keeping the American people safe, protecting our way of life and ensuring our ability to compete in the modern world. The Keystone XL Pipeline is the keystone to energy and foreign policies that do just that.

Michael Whatley

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