Niles company would benefit from Keystone pipeline

NILES, Mich. -- If the Keystone Pipeline is approved, it could mean big business for Michiana. Niles-based Delta Industrial Valves creates valves for oil and other mining excavation pipelines. Company President Keith Stelter says if the pipeline is approved the company would greatly increase its workforce.

Sparks fly as workers with Delta Industrial Valves try to keep up.

"Just about anything that people use on a day to day basis, comes through our valves at some point and time," Keith Stelter, President of the company, said.

Over the last few decades, he's had to hire dozens of new employees, and more could be on the way if the disputed part of the Keystone XL pipeline is approved.

"They're good manufacturing jobs," Stelter said. "A person can come to our company, and have a career, not just be like the RV Industry where a job is good for 12 months or 18 months until gas prices go up."

The pipeline could double the number of employees he has in three to five years. Recently, he made this pitch in front of Congress, hoping to change a few minds.

Environmental risks aside, he said, if America doesn't take advantage of this newfound energy boom, others will.

"The thing people need to understand is, if this crude oil stays in the U.S., it's going to be used a lot more efficiently," Stelter said. "It'd be (transported) a lot safer than it would be if it goes to places like China -- where they have 3rd-World technology for their pollution controls."

So now, all he can do is wait for the Government to take action.

"When you're a person like me, who grew up poor, and was just basically a Michigan farm boy, and you have the opportunity to do something like that, it makes you feel like maybe the American Dream is still alive.

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