WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) today pressured President Obama to stop hindering job creation and stifling energy development by delaying the Keystone XL pipeline construction from beginning.
During a speech on the Senate floor, Boozman said the president’s decision to postpone the start of the project “is putting more Americans out of work instead of putting them to work.”
“Our country lacks an energy policy. We are also facing a jobs crisis of enormous magnitude. And our president is standing in the way of one project that can help address both of these problems—the Keystone XL pipeline,” Boozman said.
The Keystone pipeline would transport 700,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada to U.S. refineries and create thousands of American jobs. Despite reviewing the Keystone XL permit for three years and conducting two comprehensive environmental evaluations of the project, President Obama last month requested an additional study be undertaken before saying whether or not he will grant a permit for the pipeline construction to begin.
During his speech, Boozman highlighted how the delay is already resulting in job losses in Arkansas.
“Welspun Tubular Company, which makes pipes for the oil industry, has been producing pipe for the Keystone project. Unfortunately, due to the administration’s delay on Keystone, the company has already begun to lay workers off in Little Rock. They have 500 miles of pipe that was produced for the project, ready to go, that is just sitting at the facility,” Boozman said.
The delay—which was announced only after environmentalist groups intensified their protests of White House support of the project—means there will be no decision on the whether the pipeline will be built until after the 2012 elections.
“President Obama needs to quit pandering to the radical environmentalists. He needs to do what is best for the country, not what he perceives is best for his re-election. The Keystone pipeline is what is best for America. Let’s move forward with it,” said Boozman, a cosponsor of The North America Energy Security Act which would require a construction permit to be issued for the Keystone XL pipeline within 60 days of passage.
Boozman also noted that the administration’s decision is a “major step backwards for our energy policy goals.”
“Canada’s oil sands are among the largest oil reserves in the world. As global demand for oil surges and Canada increases production, the addition of the Keystone pipeline will ensure that Americans benefit from reliable and secure oil from our largest trading partner,” Boozman said.