Congressman James Lankford (R-OK) responded to President Obama and the State Department's decision today to deny the permit for construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada through Oklahoma to Texas.
"President Obama's assertion that the State Department did not have enough time to study this issue is laughable. The Administration has had more than 40 months to review the Keystone XL permit. Claiming a lack of time is an excuse that no high-lofted rhetoric can overcome," said Congressman Lankford. "Today, President Obama rejected at least 1,000 new Oklahoma jobs and held back more than a billion dollars in economic growth for our state. This is the case all through the central part of the United States where thousands of Americans will be kept on the sidelines of the labor force because the President is standing in their way. In the mean time, our dependence on unstable and costly Middle Eastern energy sources continues. Canada has the second largest oil reserve in the world, and it is indefensible to protect our purchase of oil from Venezuela and the Middle East, rather than from Canada.
"It is remarkable that President Obama can say the focus should be on jobs one day and then block the creation of new jobs the next day. It is clear that the President only wants to move forward with the forms of energy he favors and punish those he does not. Previous pipelines from Canada have been approved in 24 months, but the President has kept the Keystone XL Pipeline in a holding pattern for more than 40 months. Claiming they need even more time to review is just unreasonable opposition and obstruction to traditional energy sources that is a slap in the face to American workers. The President would rather stake hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on bankrupt firms like Solyndra than allow for private investment of proven and reliable oil and natural gas. This absurd decision benefits his preferred political allies at the cost of American workers and our national security."