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Obama Ignores Jobs Council Recommendation, Rejects Keystone XL

by Brandon Greife / /

Shot: Yesterday, Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness released a report calling for an “all-in” approach to energy.

“Continuing to deliver inexpensive and reliable energy is going to require the United States to optimize all of its natural resources and obstruct pathways (pipelines, transmission and distribution) to deliver electricity and fuel. The Council recognizes the important safety and environmental concerns surrounding these types of projects, but now more than ever, the jobs and economic energy security benefits of these energy projects require us to tackle the issues head-on and to expeditiously, though cautiously, move forward on projects that can support hundreds of thousands of jobs.”

Chaser: From today’s Washington Post:

“The Obama administration today formally rejected a bid by Canadian energy company TransCanada to build a $7 billion oil pipeline linking the tar sands of Alberta to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.”

Hangover: In a statement President Obama said that the Congressionally-imposed deadline for review of the Keystone XL pipeline did not allow the State Department to finish a “full assessment of the pipeline’s impact.” This ignores the fact that the project has already undergone tremendous amounts of regulatory scrutiny including three years of review conducted by ten federal agencies. And thus far the Keystone XL has passed every test with flying colors.

The State Department’s Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (the second round of reviews) even found that, “from a global perspective, the project is not likely to result in incremental greenhouse gas emissions.” Even going so far as to say that the “proposed project would have a degree of safety over any other typically constructed domestic oil pipeline system.”

So it’s not the environment that Washington is endangering, it’s a secure source of energy and jobs. According to a study by the Perryman Group, over the life of the project it would lead to $20.9 billion in spending, $9.605 billion in increased output, and 118,935 person-years of employment! That’s tens of thousands of U.S. jobs that our recovery could desperately use.