Democrats and unions who supported the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline blasted President Barack Obama after he announced Thursday he was rejecting the project following a seven-year federal review.
Proponents of the pipeline said the administration is killing job creation and energy independence to pander to environmentalists, despite the State Department’s findings that its construction would have no impact on global warming.
“America’s now a global leader when it comes to taking serious action to fight climate change,” Obama said during his remarks. “And frankly, approving this project would have undercut that global leadership. And that’s the biggest risk we face, not acting.”
Several labor unions pushed for its approval, citing it would create employment opportunities for tens of thousands of Americans in need of work.
“President Obama today demonstrated that he cares more about kowtowing to green-collar elitists than he does about creating desperately needed, family-supporting, blue-collar jobs,” Terry O’Sullivan, president of Laborers’ International Union of North America, said in a statement. “After a seven-year circus of cowardly delay, the president’s decision to kill the Keystone XL Pipeline is just one more indication of an utter disdain and disregard for salt-of-the-earth, middle-class working Americans.”
The commander-in-chief claimed scraping the project would have no impact on gas prices or creating long-term jobs.
Nine Democrats split with their party in support of the Keystone during a vote on the issue in January, several of which are condemning the president’s recent decision to kill the proposal.
“I’m disappointed with the president’s decision. After dragging his feet for years on the Keystone pipeline, the president missed an opportunity to strengthen America’s energy security,” Sen. Jon Tester of Montana said in a statement. “This decision prevents more good-paying Montana jobs and ensures that we continue to do business with hostile countries in the Middle East. ”
West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin said Obama is “refusing” to see the economic possibilities the project would create.
“In my opinion, this decision was based purely on political desires and not policy facts,” he said. “The pipeline would give us the opportunity to buy oil from Canada–our neighbor, our ally and one of our greatest trading partners. It’s a shame the President refuses to see the economic possibilities this project offers.”
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