President Obama has reportedly decided to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline and the 20,000 jobs, increased energy security and billions in economic activity that are tethered to it.
Chris Prandoni | All Articles
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Christopher Prandoni is the federal affairs manager for Americans for Tax Reform.
Americans are worried about high gasoline prices and slow economic growth. The State Department has a rare opportunity to mitigate both of these problems at once — by signing off on the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Couched in the vernacular of equity and transparency, the Obama administration has enacted or proposed policies that divert small businesses’ energy and resources from job creation to bureaucratic compliance. The effect of these policies is to hamstring America’s small businesses through onerous reporting requirements, punitive penalties, and higher taxes. Often touted as the anchor of America’s economy, small businesses have generated 65 percent of the net new jobs created over the past seventeen years.
Tuesday’s election codified what polls and candidates have been espousing for months: that cap-and-trade and similar Democratic proposals are enormously unpopular amongst the American people. Of the nineteen freshman Democrats who voted for the Waxman-Markey legislation, twelve of them were sent packing. All in all, a total of 41 Democrats who voted for the bill either lost or retired.
Upon returning from recess, the Senate was captivated by two amendments to the small business lending bill. Passions flared not only because of the punitive impact each amendment would have, but because the legislation each side advocated for exemplified the ideological differences between Republicans and Democrats.
With Democrats fighting to hold onto their majorities in the House and Senate, they have enlisted their most ardent supporter -- Big Labor -- to help push back against a resurgent Republican Party. No interest group has been more vital to the Democratic Party’s recent success than organized labor, which spent nearly $400 million on Democratic candidates during the 2008 election cycle.
While there is a smörgåsbord of Democratic energy bills floating around Congress, the common thread they all share is a yearning to further tax oil and natural gas producers. Expected to be voted on today, H.R. 3534, the Consolidated Land, Energy, and Aquatic Resources Act of 2010 (CLEAR Act) levies a tax of $2 per barrel of oil and 20 cents per million BTU of natural gas. Thursday the House voted on H.R. 5893, the humorously named, Investing in American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010, a bill which would tax oil and natural gas producers and raise gas prices for consumers.
Public sector unions have a crucial interest in the expansion of government, spending, and by extension, interest in laws that inhibit the free movement of workers and capital. Organized labor has become the antithesis of worker freedom, throwing millions of dollars against candidates and ballot measures that foster choice and competition. More subliminally, public sector unions’ constant advocacy for bigger government crowds out the private sector and erodes states’ free market principles.