North America is a continent on the precipice of becoming the world energy superpower. The United States, Canada, and Mexico have abundant natural resources, including oil and natural gas that have recently become accessible because of innovative recovery techniques, such as hydraulic fracturing, and Mexico’s revision to its constitution that encourages more exploration.
But simply finding and extracting energy isn’t beneficial unless we are able to transport it to those who need it. On the North American continent today, our energy abundance provides us the opportunity to strengthen our own mutual friendships and ties while making us less susceptible to geopolitical flare-ups and their economic consequences in other regions of the world. Unfortunately, those resources are being shipped elsewhere instead of used here to cool homes and fuel cars. Why? Inefficient infrastructure.
We need key infrastructure projects that will bind us together with our neighbors and allies to become an energy independent North America.
Projects like the Keystone XL pipeline ensure that the energy produced in North America finds its way to American manufacturing plants and homes. As we know too well, the Obama administration has blocked the Keystone pipeline for nearly six years, leaving America reliant upon foreign oil from less stable sources, like OPEC, more vulnerable to price shocks from conflicts in the Middle East, and subject to supply disruptions in places like Venezuela. Instead, we should be enjoying energy produced by our close allies, like Canada and Mexico.
Today, the House will pass the bipartisan North American Infrastructure Act (H.R. 3301) to:
• Ensure that requests for cross-border oil pipelines be approved within 120 days of their submission unless they are found to not be in the national security interest of the United States—a scenario difficult to imagine when you look to current events in Iraq.
• Guarantee there is never another Keystone debacle again
• Create an integrated energy infrastructure in North America
By integrating our energy infrastructure with Canada and Mexico, we create a more efficient energy marketplace in North America that will lower energy costs while also deepening our ties with our friends. Hardworking Americans could use a win-win like that.