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U.S. Chamber, Nebraska Business Leaders Launch Partnership to Fuel America

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – August 31, 2011

Contact: Matt Letourneau 202-463-5945

U.S. Chamber, Nebraska Business Leaders Launch Partnership to Fuel America

New Initiative will promote North American Energy Development

LINCOLN — The U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy and key Nebraska business leaders today launched the “Partnership to Fuel America,” (www.fuelingus.org) in Nebraska, a major new initiative designed to build a stronger foundation for the U.S. – Canadian energy relationship.

The Partnership is a national effort comprised of American businesses and industries that understand the need for more energy in the United States and believe that Canada’s significant resources can help achieve that goal. A key focus initially will be the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which will travel through Nebraska and bring millions to the state’s economy.

“The Partnership to Fuel America will put boots on the ground in Nebraska and across the nation to educate and recruit businesses large and small to encourage the development of Canada’s vast energy resources, starting with the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline,” said Matthew Koch, a vice president at the Energy Institute who is working on the Partnership. “Our nation is in serious need of more energy resources. Tapping into Canada’s vast reserves will create jobs here at home and improve our national security by make us less reliant on overseas oil.”

Pipeline construction will bring a substantial economic boost to central Nebraska, increasing employment and generating as much as $11 million in increased tax revenue to the state. These benefits will have a ripple effect of over $465 million in new spending in Nebraska. The pipeline's construction will bolster local economies by helping to fill area hotels, restaurants and other businesses, and will bring new long term job opportunities, in addition to the construction jobs added for the duration of the project.

“Construction of the expanded Keystone pipeline promises to bring considerable financial investment to Nebraska as well as thousands of jobs,” said Tim Keigher, Executive Director of the Nebraska Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association. “More importantly the Keystone pipeline will help ensure that American’s have access to a safe and reliable supply of oil from a friendly trade partner.”

“As a trucker, the cost of fuel is one of our greatest expenditures and the most volatile,” said Dwight Dunsworth, vice president of Bernard Pavelka Trucking, Inc. “My business became a partner because developing sources of reliable and affordable energy is important to my bottom line. North American energy sources, such as Canadian tar sands should be integral to Americas future energy policy. In my opinion the benefits far outweigh any of the concerns some of our citizens have for pipeline safety."

While the U.S. already imports more than 1.9 million barrels of oil a day from Canada—our largest supplier—production of Canadian oil sands is expected to rise from 1.4 million barrels a day today to 3.5 million by 2025.

The Keystone XL pipeline would bring 1.1 million barrels of oil a day from Canada. Construction of the pipeline will create over 20,000 jobs in the short term and hundreds of thousands of jobs over the life of the pipeline, but the permits have been stalled by the Administration. If the pipeline is constructed, Nebraska is expected to see a boost in state and local tax revenue of more than $11 million, and an increase in personal wealth of residents of over $314 million.

The mission of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for 21st Century Energy is to unify policymakers, regulators, business leaders, and the American public behind a common sense energy strategy to help keep America secure, prosperous, and clean. Through policy development, education, and advocacy, the Institute is building support for meaningful action at the local, state, national, and international levels.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.