Candidates' positions are categorized as Pro (Yes), Con (No), Not Clearly Pro or Con, or None Found. Candidates who have changed their positions are listed as Now their most recent position. Candidates are listed by party and in alphabetical order by last name. Black & white photos indicate candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria for inclusion.
Should the US authorize the Keystone XL pipeline to import tar sand oil from Canada?
Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, stated the following in a Jan. 18, 2012 press release titled "Statement by the President on the Keystone XL Pipeline," available at www.whitehouse.gov:
"Earlier today, I received the Secretary of State’s recommendation on the pending application for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. As the State Department made clear last month, the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment. As a result, the Secretary of State has recommended that the application be denied. And after reviewing the State Department’s report, I agree.
This announcement is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people... In the months ahead, we will continue to look for new ways to partner with the oil and gas industry to increase our energy security..." Jan. 18, 2012 Barack Obama
Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, was quoted as stating the following during a Mar. 1, 2012 campaign stop in North Dakota by the Canadian Press in the huffingtonpost.ca article, "Keystone XL Pipeline: Barack Obama, Mitt Romney Sing Praises of Contentious Project:"
“When someone says we want to bring in a pipeline that's going to create tens of thousands of jobs to bring oil in from Canada, how in the world could you say no?" Mar. 1, 2012 Mitt Romney
Jill Stein, MD, former Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, was quoted in a Nov. 13, 2011 article "Climate Victory on Keystone Pipeline Requires Continued Green Pressure Through 2012 and Beyond," available at www.jillstein.org:
"[T]he State Department makes it clear that the sticking point in their minds is the route of the pipeline. This fails utterly to address the critical issue - which is the amount of carbon that will be exhausted into the atmosphere from the Canadian tar sands. No matter which route is taken, this pipeline is a disaster for the planet. No further study is needed to come to this conclusion. As president, I would terminate this project so that we can move forward to a green energy future." Nov. 13, 2011 Jill Stein
Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the US House of Representatives (R-GA), wrote the following in his Feb. 15, 2012 HumanEvents.com article "2.50 Gallon Gasoline and Energy Independence:"
"While some of the increase in gas prices comes from growing demand, the demand pressures on price can and should be offset by increasing domestic supplies. Yet the Obama administration’s ideological refusal to expand American energy production continues to block the development of resources which could lower prices dramatically. As we saw most recently with the administration’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline, the president is more interested in playing favorites with environmental extremists rather than embracing the ‘all-of-the-above’ strategy that could achieve energy independence and help all Americans now…
Pursuant to this plan, we should take eight steps immediately to address these skyrocketing gas prices and jumpstart production of American energy: Approve the Keystone XL pipeline." Feb. 15, 2012 Newt Gingrich
Ron Paul, US Representative (R-TX), stated the following during a Feb. 19, 2012 interview with Emilie Boyles of the Billings Economy Examiner after a Dickinson, ND Town Hall meeting, available at www.examiner.com:
Emilie Boyles: "[What] is your perspective on energy independence, particularly on the Keystone XL pipeline, and what needs to happen to make sure that American energy is used in America?"
Ron Paul: "We don't have to be dependent on foreign imports... If we had the proper policy in this country where it was deregulated we were allowed to drill, allowed to put pipelines through our country, allow alternative sources to come out, don't favor one energy source over another... we would have enough energy. I would not worry about it one bit..."
Emilie Boyles: "And should the Keystone get approved?"
Ron Paul: "Absolutely. What's distressing to me about that is one person in our country, even if he is the president, can make or break something that important. Where does he get this much power? If I'm president I'm not going to act like a King and pretend I have that much power. He should get out of the way and let the market deal with this and let the States deal with this." Feb. 19, 2012 Ron Paul
[Editor's Note: On Feb. 16, 2012, Ron Paul abstained from voting on a bill that would have forced the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. The bill was H.R. 3408, the Protecting Investment in Oil Shale, the Next Generation of Environmental, Energy and Resource Security Act. The bill passed in the house (237-187). According to a statement from the Executive Office of the President (230 KB) the bill would “circumvent a longstanding process for determining whether cross-border pipelines are in the national interest by mandating the permitting of the Keystone XL pipeline project."]
Buddy Roemer, former Governor of Louisiana, wrote in his Jan. 19, 2012 campaign website article "Tap Dancing Around the Energy Issue," available at www.buddyroemer.com:
"Yesterday’s announcement that President Obama is formally rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline amounts to nothing more than a ridiculous political decision that amounts to the virtual loss of thousands of American jobs that could have been created through pipeline construction – the safest method of transporting oil – and through oil refining. The simple fact is that whether we are the beneficiaries of this agreement or not, Canada will still sell their oil on the global market, and the potential for environmental damage will still exist, or even increase, if they are shipped elsewhere.
A far preferable alternative would be to keep the oil and 25,000 annual jobs here, take a step away from our addiction to oil from the Middle East...
One way or another, the United States still needs to meet energy needs in the short term. It is up to President Obama whether that need is met by Canada, our number one supplier, or by an exporter completely hostile to U.S. interests, like Venezuela. Buying our oil from within North America, from our ally, is well within the strategic interest of the United States.
Given the delays they’ve seen from our president on this issue, Canada may well choose to give up on America and build a pipeline to the sea, shipping their oil to our primary economic rival, China. Doing so will further benefit China’s economy while ours continues to suffer. Haven’t we sent enough of our jobs to China already?" Jan. 19, 2012 Buddy Roemer
Rick Santorum, former US Senator (R-PA), stated the following in a Jan. 18, 2012 press release "Santorum Responds to the Obama Administration's Rejection of the Keystone Pipeline," available at ricksantorum.com:
"Today's decision by the Obama Administration is but another capitulation to the radical environmental fringe - and in turn putting our national security and economy at risk. Our nation needs energy and this pipeline will provide this much needed resource. In rejecting this responsible project that will create thousands of American jobs, we are simply diverting this energy to our international competitors like China. This announcement is utterly irresponsible and one more reason why Barack Obama is not the right man to lead this country. As President, I would approve the Pipeline on day-one." Jan. 18, 2012 Rick Santorum