Business/Labor Groups: Obama Keystone XL Delay Not Justified

Today, numerous business groups and unions – ranging from North America’s Building Trades Unions to the National Association of Manufacturers to the American Petroleum Institute –took aim at the president for further stalling the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.

In a letter, these forty-four groups said that the Obama administration’s latest delay tactic, purportedly due to the court proceedings in Nebraska, is completely unjustified.  As the letter states:

“On April 18, 2014, the State Department once again delayed the final NID decision just days before the determination was scheduled to be completed—attributing this delay to a court decision currently under appeal in Nebraska. There is no reason for the president to delay issuing the cross-border permit due to a state appellate court proceeding. Keystone XL enjoys the support of the Nebraska governor and policymakers. Nebraska conducted a thorough route assessment. Furthermore, the State Department has found in all five environmental reviews that the project would not significantly impact the environment, including the various route options through Nebraska. The issue of our national interest will not be affected or changed by the outcome of the Nebraska decision.”

These groups aren’t alone in their feelings on President Obama’s continued delay.  Remember, the Washington Post noted that the situation was “absurd” writing in an April 23rd editorial:

“The administration’s latest decision is not responsible; it is embarrassing. The United States continues to insult its Canadian allies by holding up what should have been a routine permitting decision amid a funhouse-mirror environmental debate that got way out of hand. The president should end this national psychodrama now, bow to reason, approve the pipeline and go do something more productive for the climate.”

Perhaps Terry O’Sullivan, President of Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) put it best when he wrote on April 24, just after the president’s latest delay, “the Obama administration grow a set of antlers or take a lesson from Popeye and eat some spinach.”  He added, “No one seriously believes that the administration’s nearly-dark-of-night announcement last week, on Good Friday, that the pipeline would again be delayed was anything but politically motivated.” Remember, this is a group that enthusiastically endorsed Obama twice for reelection.

Of course, polls show the American people have long understood that the Obama administration’s pipeline delays are about politics rather than “legitimate concerns.”  Yet another national poll released just last week shows “almost universal” support for Keystone XL. That’s because the benefits of Keystone XL are obvious. The pipeline has passed every environmental test imaginable, yet many Americans, who need one of the 42,100 jobs Keystone XL would bring, continue to wait, as President Obama continues to choose politics over them.

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