The United States is the largest consumer of petroleum in the world, importing more than $8 million barrels of oil each day. Americans rely on oil for everyday tasks like filling their gas tanks and heating their homes. So the importance of crude oil cannot be understated.
Ohio, especially the eastern part of the state, has a tremendous opportunity for producing oil and natural gas, which can supplement some of our consumption needs. But I have long believed that the United States should do more to develop its potential for oil extraction and production, both to move towards energy independence and create jobs.
Construction of the TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline would help the country achieve these goals. By no means would it eliminate all dependence on foreign countries, but it would be a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, the completion of this project has been sidelined by the Obama administration.
Because this is a federal issue, there is very little that the State of Ohio can do to move the mission forward. However, the Ohio House last month passed House Concurrent Resolution 9, urging the US State Department to approve the process of constructing and operating the Keystone Pipeline. The resolution passed the House by an 86-7 vote.
Our country is rich in energy resources, and not moving ahead on using these resources can be very damaging. It is not a project that can be completed overnight, but continuing to delay the development of our own energy sources can put our nation in a very troubling position should our demand for foreign oil ever not be met.
I eagerly supported HCR 9 because I believe it is important that all of us do whatever we can to move the United States in the direction of energy independence. Two-thirds of Americans support the construction of the Keystone Pipeline, according to poll results published by USA Today earlier this month.
I think this indicates that most Americans understand the importance of this issue, and I urge the president and the State Department to approve the completion of this important project.