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Energy economist supports Keystone pipeline project

The State Department is considering an application to permit construction of the 1,700-mile Keystone XL, which would bring Canadian oil-sands crude from Alberta down to the Cushing hub and south to Gulf Coast refineries.
BY ROD WALTON Published: October 20, 2011

“The aquifer provides water to farmers and ranchers of Nebraska to raise livestock and grow crops,” Heineman wrote. “Cash receipts from farm markets contribute over $17 billion to Nebraska's economy annually. I am concerned that the proposed pipeline will potentially have detrimental effects on this valuable natural resource and Nebraska's economy.”

Weinstein said he believes that other opponents may have deeper agendas than just the pipeline itself.

“What they're really fighting is fossil fuels,” he said.

Weinstein is not a strong backer of the Obama administration's push to make renewable sources such as wind and solar power the centerpiece of U.S. energy policy.

“You can't base every policy on renewables, efficiency and conservation,” Weinstein said.

He noted that Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican presidential candidate, has touted his efforts to make the Lone Star State No. 1 in wind power capacity. Weinstein visited one of those giant west Texas wind farms a while back, but something was missing that day.

“There was no wind,” he said.

Weinstein is excited about the shale gas revolution and modern drilling improvements that are bringing more domestic oil out of the ground.

U.S. production has risen two years in a row for the first time since the 1970s.

“A national energy policy will be focused on increasing domestic energy in all forms,” he said. “We are an energy-rich nation.”