The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Videos: Keystone XL Construction and Families

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 11, 2017

With Nebraska’s Public Service Commission nearing a decision by late next month on whether the Keystone XL pipeline is in the public interest, it’s important to connect the pipeline’s construction with the people eager to build it and their families. We talked with some of these Americans earlier this year in Omaha. Here’s Justin Hornback, a pipeliners union member:

Keystone XL is highly prized work for the community of construction workers Hornback describes. And he’s right: Too many Americans know too little about how oil is involved in virtually every aspect of modern life. (Natural gas, too, but we mention oil because Keystone XL would deliver crude to U.S. refineries in the Gulf Coast area.) And it’s not just about fuels, as we’ve illustrated in this year’s Energy and the States blog series, highlighting the activities, hobbies, pastimes and more that are supported by natural gas and oil.

Yet, the work that would be done building the Keystone XL project is much more than work. Take a look at this second video:

Building Keystone XL is health care and money for children’s college educations. It’s food on the dinner table. It’s opportunity. As Lacy Renshaw says, it’s the cornerstone for a number of American families.

No doubt, the Nebraska PSC is familiar with the top-line arguments that Keystone XL is in the public interest: five U.S. State Department studies that found the project wouldn’t have significant climate or environmental impacts; national energy and economic benefits; and benefits to Nebraska – 4,500 jobs, $149 million in employee earnings and $11.7 million in local tax revenues in the pipeline’s first year of operation.

That’s all important. Yet, as the PSC weighs the “public interest” question on Keystone XL, it also should carefully consider those for whom the decision on this project will be a major life event.


Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.