Obama rejects Keystone XL, killing jobs and economic growth
Jan 20, 2012 1:44 PM, By Charles E Wilson
Siding with the White-House-inspired Occupy Wall Street crowd and environmental radicals, the Obama Administration announced on January 18 that it was rejecting TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline project. TransCanada could reapply for a permit, and the company has indicated it may do so.
The 1,661-mile pipeline project would bring 900,000 barrels of Canadian crude oil a day to Gulf Coast refineries in the United States. It was estimated that the pipeline project would create roughly 120,000 jobs and generate more than $5 billion in property taxes for the states along the pipeline route.
The Obama Administration announcement bought swift and pointed responses from industry and labor. John Conley, president of National Tank Truck Carriers, says the tank truck industry certainly would be impacted by the administration’s decision to reject the Keystone XL permit.
“As an association of businesses that would benefit from the construction and operation of the Keystone XL pipeline, as well as future users of the North American-produced energy, we are very disappointed in the administration’s decision to throw another delay hurdle to this project,” Conley says. “We are telling a close trading partner to take their oil and ‘shove it’ to China, a major economic competitor.
“We can’t push all important decisions to after the next election. TransCanada applied for this permit in 2008. Now the (Obama) administration is saying it needs more time for study. There is a point where leaders have to make a decision that benefits the country, even if very active political supporters will not be happy.
“If there are legitimate concerns about the impact from this project on the Sand Hills section of Nebraska, the path of the pipeline can be altered. We will continue to work with other groups to ensure that this important project that will benefit the North American economy and security is completed, even if it means nothing will happen until after the polls close in November.”
Speaking on behalf of the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA), Charles T Drevna, NPRA president, says: “President Obama has given in to political pressure from extremist opponents if fossil fuels and turned his back on American consumers who need fuel, American workers who need jobs, and America’s economic and national security. It is incredibly unwise of President Obama to reject a steady, secure, and reliable supply of oil from our close friend and neighbor, Canada, at a time when Iran is threatening to choke off a significant portion of global oil supplies.
“Rejecting a construction permit for the critically important Keystone XL pipeline may be good politics to appeal to fringe protest groups, but it is bad policy for the American people. The United States already relies on a network of more than 168,000 miles of liquid pipelines to safely and efficiently transport oil to serve the American people, and the Keystone XL pipeline would be a valuable addition to this network. We hope that if TransCanada reapplies for another construction permit for the pipeline, the new permit will be approved promptly, because this pipeline is in America’s national interest.”
LIUNA (the Laborers’ International Union of North America) called the Obama Administration’s decision ‘politics at its worst.’ “We are completely and totally disappointed,” says Terry O’Sullivan, LIUNA general president. “Once again, the President has sided with environmentalists instead of blue collar construction workers—even though environmental concerns were more than adequately addressed. The project would create thousands of good jobs at a time when unemployment in the construction industry is 16%, with 1.3 million men and women jobless.”
Association of Equipment Manufacturers President Dennis Slater says: “At this moment in our history when so many Americans need jobs, we cannot afford to reject these types of expensive large-scale infrastructure projects. The pipeline is expected to create more than 120,000 jobs, including more than 20,000 high-wage jobs in the construction and manufacturing industries where unemployment is staggering. Those who continue to be unemployed do not have the luxury of putting off paying their bills until after the November election is over. The President’s own jobs council said this week that now is the moment to go ‘all in’ on projects of this kind.”
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