U.S. Senator Dick Lugar (R-IN) issued the following statement in response to President Obama's speech yesterday at the Building and Construction Trades Department Conference:
"Construction and manufacturing workers have been hit hard by recession. Private sector jobs like those associated with building the Keystone XL pipeline must be a priority. The President called for "cutting red tape' on projects, yet he need only look in a mirror to find the source of government obstruction blocking Keystone XL jobs. I call on President Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline immediately. In the meantime, I will continue advancing legislation to overcome the President's obstruction of this job-creating project."
In his speech on Monday, President Obama said: "Not everything should be subject to politics instead of thinking about all those families out there and all your membership that need work -- that don't just support their own families, but support entire communities . So what we've said is if there's red tape that's stopping a project and stopping folks from getting to work right now, let's put that aside. Because the point is, infrastructure shouldn't be a partisan issue."
The Keystone XL pipeline is supported by numerous unions, including the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department to which President Obama was speaking, the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the U.S. & Canada, the International Union of Operating Engineers, the Laborers' International Union of North America, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
Keystone XL pipeline construction is good for Indiana workers. Yesterday, Lugar visited with workers at Koontz-Wagner in South Bend, and he previously has visited with Hoosiers working at Endress+Hauser in Greenwood, Caterpillar in Lafayette, and Fairfield Manufacturing in Lafayette.
Senator Lugar is a chief author of legislation to enable construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Lugar, along with Senators John Hoeven, David Vitter, and other colleagues, introduced legislation to approve the pipeline, notwithstanding the President's opposition. The Hoeven-Lugar-Vitter Keystone XL legislation is supported by a majority of the Senate, even though it has been blocked by Presidential veto threats and parliamentary procedures.