A coalition as strong as a pipe-liners welding joint is backing President Obama’s approval of Keystone XL. Laborers who will build the pipeline and pro-jobs politicians are actively calling for the President to approve the cross border permit that would give way to pipeline construction.
In Congress, fifty-one pro-job Republicans and Democrats are urging swift State Department review. The group includes five Democrat Senators facing tough reelection campaigns in 2014.
Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), and Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), joined 44 of their Republican colleagues in signing a letter last week urging Obama to expedite the pipeline’s approval.
Although Democrats say the controversial pipeline may not linger as an issue at the ballot box in 2014, the senators’ full-throated support for the controversial project could shield them from GOP attacks over the economic impact if construction is denied.
All five of the Democratic senators who signed the Keystone letter face difficult reelection battles in red states that Obama lost in 2012, most by double-digit margins.
Critics of the president see Keystone XL as an opportunity for President Obama to bolster the U.S. economy and create jobs. The Washington Times editorial page notes:
Keystone XL would transport 830,000 barrels of black gold daily from the oil sands of Alberta, Canada, southward to refineries on the Gulf Coast, supporting 20,000 jobs and billions of dollars for state economies along a 1,700-mile route. Reducing our dependence on the Middle East while simultaneously reducing our unemployment problem ought to be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, some on the left have declared war on carbon dioxide, the by-product both of a gasoline-fueled internal combustion engine and of the human respiratory process.
In addition to the bipartisan band of politicians behind pipeline construction, Keystone XL is also supported by the Laborers’ International Union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the Teamsters, the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO and others strongly back construction of Keystone.