Reports say President Obama’s State of the Union Address tonight will be focusing, in part, on economic fairness. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says it isn’t “fair” for the president to have denied the permit last week that would have green-lighted construction of the Keystone X-L oil pipeline from Canada to Texas.
Grassley says Obama’s action will halt the hiring of what could have been thousands of pipeline workers. “He’s going to convince me he’s interested in fairness when he gets those 20,000 workers to work,” Grassley says.
“He’s the only person standing in the way of those 20,000 jobs. You can’t blame John Deere, you can’t blame Caterpillar, you can’t blame Wall Street, you can’t blame anybody else. So if he’s going to be fair and equitable, create those 20,000 jobs.”
Grassley says the pipeline also promises to create another 120,000 jobs indirectly. Grassley, a Republican, says America needs more affordable energy, in his words, “We need to drill here and drill now.” The proposed six-billion dollar pipeline would stretch 1,700 miles from Canada’s British Columbia and across six states to refineries on the Gulf Coast.
“This infrastructure project has been under review by the administration for more than three years,” Grassley says. “It could be a job-creating energy partnership with a very friendly neighbor, a relationship that could reduce America’s dependence on volatile foreign energy sources, including Venezuela, Libya and OPEC.”
Grassley says that oil will be produced in Canada and if it doesn’t come to the U.S., it’ll likely go to China. He says, Environmentalists that are objecting to harvesting this type of fossil fuel aren’t accomplishing anything by stopping the Keystone project except hurting Americans and helping the Chinese.”
Concerns were raised about the TransCanada pipeline’s original path through Nebraska as it was proposed to cut through environmentally-fragile areas, including the Sandhills and the Ogallala Aquifer.