Iowa Congressman Steve King is among the Republicans upset with Democrat President Barack Obama’s decision to reject the Keystone XL oil pipeline project.
“Well, it’s just a completely illogical decision when you look at a country that needs jobs that needs energy, the price that gas is today compared to the day that Barack Obama took office. All of these things scream for us to build the pipeline down from the oil sands region in Northern Alberta down into the United States,” King says.
The president issued a statement saying the decision to reject the pipeline was based on the need to gather more information on the safety of the pipeline. King says the decision is simply politics. “The president has had difficulty making a decision between his environmental extremist base and his labor union base, he’s decided to side with the environmental extremist base,” King says.
“It is not I don’t think, an analytical decision, it’s a political decision on his part. And the American people are going to have to make a political decision next November. If we can have jobs and energy blocked like this, we pretty well know that politics trumps the American people’s best interests.”
King believes Obama made the decision now so it wouldn’t be hanging over his head before he gives his State of the Union address. The pipeline would extend from Canada to Texas, covering six states. Nebraska is the closest state to Iowa that would be on the pipeline route.
By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City
Statement by the President on the Keystone XL Pipeline
Earlier today, I received the Secretary of State’s recommendation on the pending application for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. As the State Department made clear last month, the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment. As a result, the Secretary of State has recommended that the application be denied. And after reviewing the State Department’s report, I agree.
This announcement is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people. I’m disappointed that Republicans in Congress forced this decision, but it does not change my Administration’s commitment to American-made energy that creates jobs and reduces our dependence on oil. Under my Administration, domestic oil and natural gas production is up, while imports of foreign oil are down. In the months ahead, we will continue to look for new ways to partner with the oil and gas industry to increase our energy security –including the potential development of an oil pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf of Mexico – even as we set higher efficiency standards for cars and trucks and invest in alternatives like biofuels and natural gas. And we will do so in a way that benefits American workers and businesses without risking the health and safety of the American people and the environment.