In a decision that smacks of political expediency, the Obama Administration today punted final approval on an energy project that would have created thousands of American jobs until after the 2012 election. Here’s the story:
>> More than 20,000 jobs sacrificed. TransCanada, the employer proposing the Keystone pipeline notes that the project would have created “about 20,000 construction and manufacturing jobs, which will increase the personal income of American workers by $6.5 billion.” (TransCanada, 5/11)
>> Delay will have larger impact on struggling American economy. The Wall Street Journal noted that the project was expected to lead to “more than 118,000 ‘spin-off’ jobs during the two years of construction.” (Wall Street Journal, 7/7/11
>> For what? “Environmental groups have been protesting the pipeline … and there have been rumblings that greens would abandon Obama next fall if he approved it.” (Politico, 11/10/11)
For much of the past two months, President Obama has been barnstorming on the taxpayer dime, disengaging himself from the legislative process while more than 20 bipartisan House-passed jobs bills remain stuck in the Democrat-run Senate.
In a statement released after the President’s decision, Speaker Boehner blasted the administration's failure to help boost economic growth:
“By punting on this project, the president has made clear that campaign politics are driving U.S. policy decisions -- at the expense of American jobs. The current project has already been deemed environmentally sound, and calling for a new route is nothing but a thinly veiled attempt to avoid upsetting the president’s political base before the election.”
At a time when unemployment remains stuck at 9 percent, America needs a president who is fully engaged in the legislative process and helping remove barriers to economic growth.
To read more about the GOP’s jobs plan to expand American energy development and help put people back to work, click here.