Weekly Column

 It’s Time To Build The Keystone Pipeline 

This past week, the Department of Labor issued its latest unemployment report and the news wasn’t good. Employers added far fewer jobs than economists predicted, and the unemployment rate ticked down, indicating that our labor force continues to shrink.

At a time when our economy remains stagnant and our labor force participation rate is the lowest it has been in years, it is critical that we enact policies that encourage growth and incite investment. This includes construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which will lead to the creation of thousands of American jobs, lower fuel prices, and our energy independence.

The construction of the pipeline has bipartisan support in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. However, because the pipeline crosses the Canadian border, the Administration must approve the project.

During his State of the Union address, President Obama spoke about the need for an energy strategy for the future, an all-of-the-above energy policy. But after more than five years of delay, the President continues to stand in the way of the construction of the pipeline and his excuses are running out.

In June, the President said that he would approve the pipeline only if it “does not significantly exacerbate the climate problem.” Though there have been multiple studies that indicate the project would have little effect on the environment, now we have even more evidence from the Administration that confirms that it will not. At the end of January, the State Department released a long-awaited report that concluded the pipeline would not have a significant impact on the environment or worsen carbon pollutions.

Despite the study’s findings, the President still refuses to approve the project. Increasingly, it is becoming clearer that he continues to block the project for political reasons, and recently one of his closest advisors confirmed it. This past week, Former Energy Secretary Steven Chu stated, “the decision to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline is a political one, and not one founded in science.”

There is no reason why politics should delay the creation of much-needed American jobs. Just a few weeks ago, the President promised that 2014 was going to be a “year of action.” The time for action is now. It is my hope that the President puts politics aside and uses his authority to approve the Keystone Pipeline. What is he waiting for?

The Renacci Report

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