Gibbs: Reconsider Rejection of Keystone Pipeline
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Gibbs released the following statement today regarding the Obama Administration’s announcement that it will reject the Keystone XL pipeline. The announcement comes the day after President Obama’s jobs council called for an “all-in approach” to energy policy that includes expanded oil-and-gas drilling as well as expediting energy projects like pipelines.*
“I am extremely disappointed that the President has ignored his own ‘jobs council’s’ advice and blocked the Keystone Pipeline today. His choice to hide behind his Administration and force the State Department to retract their previous preference for the project shows a failure to put jobs and the needs of the people before politics.**
“Today’s transparent move discredits the claim that creating jobs is the number one priority of his Administration. If that were true, the Keystone XL Pipeline project would have already been approved as it would deliver up to 130,000 much-needed jobs to our economy. The current project has already been deemed environmentally sound and preferable , and cancelling it is nothing short of a thinly-veiled attempt to avoid upsetting the President’s political base before the election. It’s a complete and total failure of leadership.
“People all around our nation are in need of a stable source of energy and good-paying jobs. This project would provide both, free of cost to the taxpayers. The Keystone XL pipeline would deliver up to 830,000 barrels per day of crude oil, reducing our dependency on foreign oil, lowering gas prices, and improving our economy. But with
“At a time when people are struggling to pay for the President’s failed economic policies, this is just another reminder that the President’s energy policy is destroying American jobs. It has been more than three years since the application was filed to build the Keystone XL pipeline and bring jobs and energy security to America. The president had an opportunity to bring American jobs and energy independence, but he has rejected it and now is sending these energy resources overseas to countries like China. There is no excuse.
“Mr. President: This is the wrong decision at the wrong time. I urge you to reconsider immediately and get started on this jobs project that has strong bipartisan support in Congress, is funded entirely with private investment, was proposed more than three years ago, passed environmental reviews, and was originally preferred by your own State Department.”
* From page 29 of the Jobs Council report: “The Council recognizes the important safety and environmental concerns surrounding these types of projects, but now more than ever, the jobs and economic and energy security benefits of these energy projects require us to tackle the issues head-on and to expeditiously, though cautiously, move forward on projects that can support hundreds of thousands of jobs.”
** From page ES-11 of the U.S. Department of State’s Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Keystone XL Pipeline Project: “[U.S. Department of State] does not regard the ‘No Action Alternative’ to be preferable to the proposed Project.”