Watch Now: Former Obama National Security Advisor: Keystone XL rejection would ‘make Mr. Putin’s day’

3/13/14 12:09 PM EDT

Former National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones used the growing tension between Russia and Ukraine to make the case that approving the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline is essential for boosting U.S. energy security.

“If we want to make Mr. Putin’s day and strengthen his hand, we should reject the Keystone. If we want to gain an important measure of national energy security, jobs, tax revenue, and prosperity to advance our work on the spectrum of energy solutions that don’t rely on carbon, it should be approved,” Jones said during testimony at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the pipeline.