Keystone XL Pipeline: a job-creating win for America

We didn’t go halfway to the moon. Lewis and Clark didn’t go halfway across the country. Thomas Edison didn’t develop half a light bulb. And yet, President Obama believes that half a pipeline will somehow reduce our dependence on oil from foreign governments, some of which do not have our best interests at heart.
 

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The entire Keystone XL Pipeline was on track until the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) overstepped its authority and claimed the State Department’s analysis was faulty because it didn’t consider oil spill response plans, safety issues and greenhouse gas emissions. Despite approvals from states along the pipeline’s route, including my home state of Oklahoma, radical environmentalists began a massive campaign to pressure the White House to pick the EPA’s ruling over the State Department’s analysis.
 
House and Senate Republicans should demand answers from the EPA and get to the bottom of the agency’s relationship with radical environmental groups, which claim the project will destroy the environment. What those groups fail to recognize is we can both protect the environment and create jobs.
 
An independent study estimated that the Keystone XL Pipeline would contribute more than $585 million in state and local taxes to states along the route; more than $20 billion in new spending for the U.S. economy; and significantly reduce our dependence on the Middle East and elsewhere for oil. But the environmentalists argued the pipeline would pollute air and water supplies and harm migratory birds and other wildlife. Unfortunately for the tens of thousands of Americans who could have good-paying jobs from the Keystone XL Pipeline, migratory birds won out.
 
It is clear to even a casual observer that this year’s election is the Jobs Election. Voters, who have more information available to them than in any other election cycle thanks to the Internet, will very carefully scrutinize candidates’ records on what they have done to create jobs -- not just what candidates have said about creating jobs.
 
Mr. President, your support for half a pipeline is half-baked nonsense. I truly hope you override your regulatory-happy EPA and put the full support of the White House behind the Keystone Pipeline so that we, as the most prosperous nation in the world, can develop our own natural resources. That would be a true economic stimulus and something a politician could really hang his hat on.

Former Rep. Watts, Jr (R-Okla.) now serves as the chairman of Watts Partners, a bipartisan government affairs firm which advises and represents a wide range of energy companies.

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