Louisiana’s congressional delegation and others have blasted President Barack Obama’s decision to reject TransCanada’s application to build the Keystone XL pipeline.
Both candidates in the race for governor — Republican U.S. Sen. David and Democratic state Rep. John Bel Edwards — lambasted the decision.
“If we’re going to an all of the above energy strategy, constructing the Keystone XL Pipeline must be a part of that equation,” Edwards said. “After years of studies on the economic and environmental impact, it was clear to Louisianans and the country that this major infrastructure project would create good-paying jobs here at home.”
Vitter’s statement, meanwhile, continued his attempts to link Edwards and Obama: “After years of vague promises and no action, President Obama has finally taken a side, choosing the far-left’s liberal agenda over creating tens of thousands of American jobs and stabilizing our economy. Today’s decision is purely political and exactly the stubborn type of leadership that we can’t afford from Obama or his allies – including John Bel Edwards.”
In a statement released by the White House, Obama said that the pipeline had become a politicized issue and was overblown.
“It became a symbol too often used as a campaign cudgel by both parties rather than a serious policy matter,” he said. “And all of this obscured the fact that this pipeline would neither be a silver bullet for the economy, as was promised by some, nor the express lane to climate disaster proclaimed by others.”
Comments from other Louisiana officials:
Congressman Garret Graves: “Once again, we see the Obama Administration placing politics above sound policy. The Keystone Pipeline would have created thousands of good paying jobs and increased U.S. energy security. For a state like Louisiana, a leader in energy production, this news is the latest in a string of decisions out of the White House that seem to target our economy. It’s increasingly clear that this Administration does not care about the hard working men and women in the energy industry. This decision will produce two outcomes: a rise in the volume of oil being transported by rail, which is more susceptible to spills than pipelines, and the continued energy dependence on Iran and other nations that do no share US values.”
U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy: “The president’s rejection of the Keystone XL Pipeline shows his allegiance to his supporters, not the American people. He rejected more than 40,000 direct and indirect jobs that the American people want created. He ignored the 60 percent of Americans who want the pipeline built. Keystone could save workers’ lives because transporting oil by pipeline means fewer accidents and spills. It is supported by Republicans and Democrats. It’s a jobs bill the president has no reason to ignore. Louisiana families want Keystone built. It’s a jobs bill. It’s a workers’ safety bill. It’s an American bill.”