Rep. Tim Griffin (AR-02) led a group of House Members at a press conference today to urge the President to stop putting politics over paychecks when it comes to approving the Keystone XL Pipeline permits.
"We all agree that the greatest challenge facing our country is our weak economy and high unemployment," Griffin said. "By delaying a decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline permits, the President is putting politics over paychecks. Approval of this truly "shovel ready' private sector stimulus of $7 billion should be a no-brainer for anyone interested in creating jobs. We are talking about 20,000 direct and 100,000 indirect high-paying jobs."
In July, Griffin voted in favor of the North American-Made Energy Security Act (H.R. 1938), which was passed by the House. This legislation would direct the President to expedite the consideration and approval of the federal Keystone XL Pipeline permits. The Senate still has not voted on this bill.
Griffin also wrote to U.S. Secretary of State Clinton in March urging approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Last week, President Obama announced that his administration would put off any decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline permits until after the next presidential election.
"This decision is all about a presidential election, not leadership." Griffin said. "This is the presidential equivalent of voting "present.'"
David Delie, President of Welspun Tubular, a pipe manufacturer in Little Rock, AR involved in the Keystone XL Pipeline project also spoke at today's event.
"I appreciate Congressman Griffin holding this press conference so that people will know what is at stake if a decision on the pipeline permitting is further delayed," Delie said. "We have over 600 employees in Little Rock who have been working to produce over 700 miles of pipe. This project already has been delayed once. Further delay raises serious questions about any future infrastructure project needing federal approval. The Keystone XL Pipeline permitting process has been compromised by politics, and it's preventing job growth."
"Earlier today, I spoke with the Premier of Alberta [Canada]," Griffin said. "She said they need a market and someone to help them refine their oil. Yesterday, Canada's Prime Minister indicated that due to the Administration's delay, they are looking to China. The President's delay will create jobs -- Chinese jobs -- while at the same time injecting more uncertainty into our economy for American workers and companies like Welspun."
"Stopping this pipeline won't decrease oil consumption, but it will force us to continue to get oil from overseas at a high price," Griffin concluded. "The President should put all of our governmental resources into approving this pipeline. American workers are counting on it."