Today, Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) released the following column discussing President Obama's decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline:
"My number one priority in Congress is helping get the American people back to work. Unfortunately, President Obama's policies aren't helping -- in fact, they're making things worse. One such example happened on January 18th when the president decided to reject the Keystone XL energy project. With the national unemployment rate well above 8 percent and gas prices in Ohio and across the country inching up, the president chose to put politics above jobs -- and China's interests above our own.
"It's estimated that the Keystone XL project, which is funded entirely through private investment, would help create at least 20,000 new American jobs in manufacturing and construction. Analysis suggests it could create tens of thousands more, and could help address high gas prices as well. President Obama says he didn't have enough time to come to approve it -- that he had no choice to reject the project. But as the Wall Street Journal editorial board put it, "Keystone XL has been planned for years "
"In fact, TransCanada first applied for a Presidential Permit to build and operate the 1700-mile Keystone pipeline extension from Canada to the United States in 2008. For three years, the project has been subject to extensive reviews, including exhaustive studies by the U.S. State Department. In 2010, the State Department's final Environmental Impact Statement for the Keystone XL pipeline concluded that the project would have "no significant impacts' on the environment. And last year it said moving forward with Keystone was its preferred option.
"Beyond the bureaucratic approvals, Keystone XL has widespread support including bipartisan majorities in both the House and the Senate, a majority of American voters, and many labor unions -- key supporters of President Obama. Editorial boards across the country have voiced their support and urged the president to approve the extension. The president's own jobs council released a report on January 17th backing energy projects like Keystone "that can support hundreds of thousands of jobs.'
"But the president wasn't listening -- at least not to the bipartisan demand for policies that help create new private sector jobs. His official rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline declared the project was not in the national interest of the United States. But is it not in the national interest to create tens of thousands of jobs here in America? Is it not in the national interest to get energy resources from an ally like Canada as opposed to hostile regimes? A pipeline will still be built -- it will just be built through Canada, by Canadian workers, and will deliver affordable energy to countries like China -- not the United States.
"The president said he'll do anything he can to create jobs -- a promise clearly broken. He also said "we can't wait' for action on jobs -- except that's all he has out-of-work Americans doing: waiting. We've lost more than 600,000 jobs since the president's "stimulus' was enacted and Americans are still asking the question, "where are the jobs?'
"This is not the end of the fight for Keystone. Republicans in Congress will continue to push for approval because we know the project is good for our country, it's good for our job creation, and it's good for the American people.
"I want to hear from you and what your thoughts are on the president's decision to reject 20,000 U.S. jobs. Send me your thoughts and learn more at www.JohnBoehner.house.gov."
Boehner represents Ohio's 8th District, which includes all of Darke, Miami, and Preble counties, most of Butler and Mercer counties, and the northeastern corner of Montgomery County. He was first elected to Congress in 1990.