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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Keystone XL Pipeline: Is Obama Putting His Job Over Jobs In The Heartland?

Obama Kills Thousands of Energy Jobs
by Delaying Keystone Pipeline
Today in Washington, D.C. - Dec.1, 2011:
Yesterday, the Senate voted 88-12 to invoke cloture on S. 1867, the Fiscal Year 2012 Defense authorization bill.

Today, the Senate resumed post-cloture consideration of S. 1867. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has said he expects to complete work on the bill today. Votes on amendments are likely later in the day. Among those will be an amendment offered by Sens. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) to impose stricter sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran.

Yesterday, Reid also filed for cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 1917, Democrats’ payroll tax cut extension which includes an “anti-growth” surtax job creators warn “would seriously impair our ability” “to put our unemployed back to work.”

Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) introduced a Republican alternative yesterday which would extend current payroll tax relief, reduce the deficit by $111 billion, and trim the size of the federal government. If an agreement is reached, votes on the payroll tax cut proposals could be held tonight. Otherwise, a vote on the Democrat plan would happen tomorrow morning.

Yesterday, the House passed (235-188) HR 3094, the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act. However, the NLRB met yesterday and voted to move forward toward finalizing the "ambush elections rule by Unions." Passage of H.R. 3094 is critical to halting that ill-advised NLRB rule in its tracks. However, Senate Democrats and the White House are supporting the actions of the Obama Administration's influenced actions by the NLRB.

Today and the remainer of the week, the House is expected to consider:
HR 3463 — Financing of presidential election campaigns
HR 527 — Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2011
HR 3010 — Regulatory Accountability Act of 2011

The AP reported yesterday, “Angered by President Barack Obama’s delay of a proposed oil pipeline from Canada, Senate Republicans are moving to force him to act. A bill introduced Wednesday by 37 GOP senators, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, would require the administration to approve the Keystone XL pipeline within 60 days, unless the president declares the project is not in the national interest. The State Department decided on Nov. 10 to delay the project until 2013, after the presidential election . . . . McConnell, R-Ky., called the $7 billion pipeline the ultimate ‘shovel-ready’ project and said it could create as many as 20,000 jobs.”

Mark Ayers, president of the AFL-CIO’s building and Construction Trades Department, even  agreed in a piece for The Huffington Post last month. Ayers wrote, “For America’s skilled craft construction professionals, any discussion of the Keystone XL project begins and ends with one word: JOBS. . . . Throughout America's Heartland, the Keystone Pipeline represents the prospect for 20,000 immediate jobs, and as many as 500,000 indirect jobs via a strong economic multiplier effect. . . .”

Yet, as the AP notes, “The pipeline project has divided labor groups eager for the jobs it would create from environmentalists and other traditional Democratic allies who oppose the pipeline as an ecological disaster waiting to happen.”

Environmentalists have been vocal opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline. McClatchy reported in early November, “Thousands of protesters encircled the White House Sunday in a show of numbers intended to persuade President Barack Obama to stop a proposed oil pipeline from being built. . . . Environmentalists say the project is a key test of Obama’s environmental credentials. Protesters first heard from prominent environmentalists, a preacher, a Nobel laureate, and a movie star, and then gathered to hold hands in a ring that stretched in front of the White House and several blocks down sidestreets before joining behind the White House lawn. Organizers estimated that the crowd exceeded 10,000 people.”

Politico noted at the time, “Activists fighting a proposed Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline brought their message to the White House on Sunday: Their support for President Barack Obama next year is not a foregone conclusion. . . . And they said at the protest that no matter the decision that Obama makes, the pipeline will not disappear during the election. Rather than turning out to support Obama, activists would continue to push the president; instead of knocking on doors,, student and retired activists will continue challenging the campaign and interrupting fundraisers, organizers said. . . . No doubt the administration faces a party divided on the pipeline.”

So when President Obama decided to delay a decision until after the election, the Houston Chronicle editorialized, “The Obama administration's decision to postpone a ruling on the fate of the Keystone XL pipeline till 2013 is a poorly disguised political punt. The ruling has 2012 presidential politics written all over it, despite the environmental reasons given. By delaying a decision on the $7 billion project, which is ‘shovel-ready’ and would immediately produce an estimated 20,000 well-paying jobs in this country, Obama has avoided offending environmentalists on his party's left, a key fund-raising and voting bloc.”

The Hill pointed out today, “The pipeline delay was a victory for environmentalists that had said approval would sap their energy to mobilize on Obama’s behalf in next year's election.” And the AP adds, “[McConnell] and other Republicans called Obama’s decision to delay the project transparently political and said Obama had put his reelection above job creation. ‘This is politics, pure and simple,’ said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.”

Leader McConnell explained this morning, “Labor unions love this project. Folks in the heartland love this project. The Chamber of Commerce loves this project. But here’s the problem: President Obama’s getting heat from his base over this project — especially from the very young and very liberal voters he’ll need knocking on doors before November. So the State Department now says they’re going to delay its approval — even though previously they were seemingly ready to approve it after a three-year review, including two exhaustive environmental evaluations.

Here’s the bottom line: the President has said time and again that his top priority is jobs. Yet here we’ve got the single largest shovel-ready project in the country, ready to go, and he’s delaying its approval until after the election. He’s saying he doesn’t care so much about jobs in states like Nebraska that he doesn’t think he’ll carry next year so he can keep the enthusiasm up in states he hopes to carry. So I think it’s pretty clear the President cares less about this particular boon for job creation than in his own job preservation. And it’s wrong. “There is no reason whatsoever to delay this project and these jobs by another day!"

Tags: Washington, D.C., U.s House, Us. Senate, President Obama, stopping jobs, Keystone pipeline, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 12:32 PM - Post Link


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