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Veterans advocate for Keystone XL approval

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Harry Prestanski, a Marine Corps veteran who served 16 months in Vietnam, recently visited the staff of Ohio U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown in his Washington, DC offices to advocate the immediate approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline (KXL) by the Obama Administration.

Prestanski, a West Chester, Ohio resident, visited Capitol Hill as a representative of Vets4Energy, a group of distinguished veterans who support lawmakers that enact policies to reduce America’s dependency on foreign oil thereby bolstering national security.

This week the group asked Congressional Democrats to increase pressure on the President to approve the KXL deal, which has been delayed by the current Administration for the past five years. The proposed pipeline project will carry oil from the Canadian Province of Alberta through the U.S. Midwest to the U.S. Gulf Coast for refining. Five separate impact studies, including one from the U.S. State Department, have found the project environmentally benign.

“It is time for the Administration to act,” said Prestanski. “If Keystone is approved, the U.S. will be one step closer to energy independence and increased national security.” With imports from Canada added to our own domestic production, North American energy sources will supply 100 percent of America’s estimated liquid fuel needs by 2024, at the same time creating thousands of jobs in the U.S.

“I was very pleased with my meetings with the Congressional staffs of Senators Brown, Hagan (NC), and Durbin (IL), as well those with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV). They seemed to understand how the Keystone project relates to national security and boosts U.S. jobs and the economy,” Prestanski said. “We remain hopeful that these meetings will bring our Congressional leaders together to not only support the approval of the XL pipeline, but will also result in a much needed comprehensive energy policy that will provide the US with energy security, vital to US national security.”

This marks the third consecutive year that Vets4Energy brought veterans from across the country to meet with Members of Congress. Volunteers with Vets4Energy will continue to engage other veterans in the 26 states the group currently represents, and ask that they too send the message to lawmakers that energy independence is key to national security.

Prestanski has been a business/communication professional for over 30 years working for major communications organizations including his own Public Relations agency. Prestanski is a co-founder of Ohio Veterans United and currently serves as their Executive Director. He serves on the Governor’s Council of Peoples with Disabilities. Prestanski is a VFW Life Member.

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