A new application to construct the Keystone XL pipeline has left President Obama out of excuses for rejecting the project as Republicans prepare to fight for it in key transportation legislation negotiations, which are set to begin tomorrow. Friday’s filing “gives ammunition to the Republicans,” one energy expert told Bloomberg, and “it may create pressure on Obama.”
“Republicans pounced on the news,” with both Speaker Boehner and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) pointing out that the new application leaves President Obama out of excuses for blocking the project – and the 20,000 “new, real U.S. jobs” that go with it:
“Obama ‘cited a need for a new application from TransCanada and a new route in Nebraska,’ Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said in a statement. ‘Now that he has both, what will his excuse be?’ …
“Obama is now ‘out of excuses for blocking this job-creating energy project any longer,’ House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said in a statement.” (Bloomberg, 5/5/12)
With the filing coming on the same day the Department of Labor issued another disappointing unemployment report, the Associated Press noted that President Obama is “under pressure to support the pipeline from Republicans and business and labor leaders who argue it would create jobs.” Indeed, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka reiterated union support for the project, saying on C-SPAN: “I think we are all unanimous by saying we should build the pipeline.”
Editorial boards coast-to-coast also continue to speak out. An editorial in today’s Denver Post notes that “the case for the pipeline has always been compelling if environmental concerns could be satisfied, and now that case is even stronger.” Republicans “have the better arguments on the merits of the pipeline,” the editorial adds.
The president is in a tough spot, having gone to great lengths to appease the environmental lobby and try to kill the pipeline – even personally lobbying Senate Democrats and threatening to veto critical transportation legislation. Now that he’s boxed into a corner, will Senate Democrats continue to do President Obama’s bidding or will they heed the House’s strong bipartisan vote and do the right thing for jobs and the economy?
Learn more about Keystone XL pipeline and Republicans’ American Energy Initiative at Speaker.gov/energy.