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Keystone pipeline delay to hurt Americans looking for jobs

CBC
Pipe destined for the Keystone XL pipeline is stacked on the North Dakota prairie.

OKLAHOMA CITY – As noted in both the American and Canadian media, the Obama administration’s decision to delay a final ruling on the controversial, $7-billion Keystone XL pipeline - that would come through Oklahoma - until after the 2012 presidential  election, is being viewed as purely a political move and is seen as a job-killing decision that will also further undermine our national security.

Oil sands crude from Alberta, Canada would go across the continent and offer North Americans another source of energy.

According to a report in the Canadian newspaper the Victoria Times-Colonist, “a final determination on whether to grant (the company) a presidential permit to build the 2,700-kilometer line is now unlikely before “the first quarter of 2013.” Of course environmental concerns should be addressed, and so far have been. But the state of Nebraska is concerned about the pipeline going through the environmentally-sensitive Sand Hills region, where birds nest.

Two constituencies Democrat Obama relies on – labor and environmentalists – were pitted against one another on this issue. And of course jobs are being lost in the midst of all of this – 20,000, according to GOP House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio.

For a president to claim he wants Americans to have jobs, to delay this plan is causing jobs to not be created.A lot of people are protesting outside the White House and see this pipeline delay as being a victory. The local newsletter from the Oklahoma City Peace House - a group that sought to stop the pipeline - didn't even list the correct Canadian province where this pipeline was to be built in. As Peace House leader Nathaniel Batchelder wrote in a column in their paper he said the pipeline started in Ontario, rather than in Alberta. It just proves the reactionary left is simply acting on emotion rather than logic.

As we reported this week at Red Dirt Report, Gov. Mary Fallin is a major supporter of the Keystone XL pipeline, a decision that was greeted with much praise from Oklahoma's energy sector.

U.S. Rep. James Lankford (R-Oklahoma City) released a statement highlighting the hypocrisy of Obama’s job-killing delay: “If the President wants to deliver campaign speeches about getting people back to work, then his action should match his words by getting out of the way of job creation. The Keystone Pipeline project would create 20,000 quality, well-paid jobs that Americans need. During a time of 9-percent unemployment, and no prospect for improvement in the near future under the administration’s policies, there is absolutely no reason to block a project that will get people back to work immediately.”

Now the project is postponed and more Americans looking for jobs will have to wait for potentially two more years for work connected to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

Added Lankford: “This no-cost solution is a win-win for the American people and the American economy.”

Other Oklahomans in Washington expressed their dismay over the delay.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Tulsa), said Obama’s “decision is a clear indication that (his) job-killing global warming agenda is alive and well.” Inhofe added that “Obama has sided with the environmental left over unions, whose members would welcome the thousands of jobs that would be created. He is also harming our efforts to achieve energy security.”

Many more thousands of jobs could be created over the course of the creation of the pipeline, Inhofe noted.

TransCanada Corp., based in Calgary, Alberta – the province where the tar sands are processed and would be sent southward in the pipeline to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast – is estimated to lose $1 billion during the delay.

"Obviously very, very disappointed," said TransCanada CEO Russ Girling to the CBC. "After 40 months of rigorous review, hundreds of public meetings and onsite consultations, thousands and thousands of pages of documents, a draft environmental assessment, a final environmental assessment to come to the conclusion that we need more study is obviously disappointing for us and is going to be disappointing for our customers."

But Girling has added he is "confident Keystone XL will ultimately be approved."

So, where is the jobs-creating Obama? He is taking off today for a big trip of "bowing" to foreign leaders in Asia, while his “body man” Reggie Love plans to leave the White House. Interesting timing.

Copyright 2011 West Marie Media

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About the Author

Andrew W. Griffin

Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from John Brown University in... read more

About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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