This isn’t as bizarre as you’d think. Unions are very much interested in the jobs the Keystone pipeline project would create (despite President Obama poo-pooing the numbers), and Ed Schultz is very much a union mouthpiece.
Still, it’s bizarre to hear a pro-Keystone voice on MSNBC. Schultz’s argument? Pragmatism and safety:
Based on safety I think the President should give this project the stamp of approval. Environmental groups obviously think differently. And so do the majority of people on the left. But this newsflash: We’re not getting out of the oil business in America. It runs our economy. Do we have climate change? Yes we do. But the construction of this pipeline does not mean we are going to consume more as a country.
I’m looking at it at from a safety aspect. I don’t explosions in small towns or any towns, or any kind of train derailment carrying oil, where there are fewer federal inspectors than ever before, and also the fact that these railcars are old and the infrastructure hasn’t been upgraded. So a brand-new pipeline, to me, makes sense.
It’s hard to argue with that.
Meanwhile, twelve members of Congress – both Democrats and Republicans – as well as the Canadian Ambassador held a press conference today to urge approval of the pipeline. Their comments, via a press release from Senator John Hoeven’s office, are below.
“The Administration has spent more than five years studying this project, and five environmental impact statements have each found that the Keystone XL pipeline poses no significant risk to the environment,” said Sen. Hoeven. “It’s past time for the president to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. We need the jobs, the economic benefits and the energy security this pipeline will help provide. Keystone XL is in our national interest, and the President should approve it today.”
“This final report from the State Department is encouraging, but the bottom line is – we don’t need any more reports, we need action,” said Sen. Landrieu. “When we create energy from any source, we create jobs, and this project is slated to create over 40,000 jobs nationally, not to mention the positive economic impact for Louisiana’s economy. Our refineries along the Gulf Coast host nearly half of all refining capacity; most of those are uniquely equipped to use the type of crude oil that will be transported through the pipeline. Louisiana is ready for this pipeline and the country is ready for this pipeline. It’s time to build.”
“I have a simple message for the President: it’s time to make a decision on Keystone XL. The truth is that I’ve been saying that for several years, but with the release of the State Department’s latest SEIS last week, the time to make a decision has really, truly, unavoidably come. As State has confirmed, there is little dispute about whether this project is in our national interest. The answer is yes. Whether we are talking about a ‘year of action’ or simple commonsense, the need for more good-paying jobs or a tremendous opportunity for greater energy security, the president has every reason to approve this project,” said Sen. Murkowski.
“It’s in our best interest – economic, national security, and energy security – to approve the Keystone XL pipeline,” said Sen. Heitkamp. “This process has dragged on for far too long. It’s past time for the President to make a decision – the right decision – and approve this project so we encourage and benefit from energy production from a friend and ally, rather than get those resources from volatile countries elsewhere across the world.”
“The Obama administration is now out of excuses for refusing to grant completion of this project. By any reasonable standard, the Keystone XL pipeline is in the national interest and will enhance U.S. economic and energy security. Not only will the pipeline create jobs, promote economic growth and expand access to North American energy, it will also provide a safer and more environmentally friendly method of developing these oil resources,” said Sen. Bob Corker, ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee.
“Last week’s environmental impact statement is further proof that must move ahead with the Keystone XL Pipeline and that is why I have been urging President Obama to approve it now,” said Sen. Begich. “Alaskans understand the common sense benefits: a secure source of oil from a trusted ally and neighbor and more American jobs. After 5 years of carefully studying this project, it’s time to build this pipeline and move toward a more secure energy future for our country.”
“The President has said this will be a year of action and with a project like the Keystone XL Pipeline the last thing we need is more delays,” said Rep. Terry. Friday’s report clearly meets the President’s standard for not increasing carbon pollution and in fact indicates there will be more harm to environment if he does not approve the permit. The President should use his pen because it’s time to build the Keystone XL pipeline.”
“For five years, Americans have been waiting for the thousands of good-paying jobs that the Keystone XL pipeline would create,” Sen. Wicker said. “And yet, President Obama continues to stall, even though multiple reports by his own Administration conclude that the pipeline would not have a significant impact on the environment. This would be a bipartisan jobs win. If the President is serious about making this a ‘year of action,’ approving the Keystone XL pipeline is a constructive way to start.”
“We’ve waited years now for the President to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. We have the studies, we have the support of the states along the route, and we have the backing of a bipartisan coalition in Congress,” Sen. Pryor said. “Mr. President, let’s build the Keystone XL Pipeline.”
“The Administration should now move beyond dilly dallying and approve this job creating project. They’ve known for years that most Americans want it done,” Sen. Vitter said.
“After more than five years and five federal reviews, all the excuses not to build Keystone XL have been exhausted. The FEIS has put to rest any credible concerns about the pipeline’s potential negative impact on the environment. The only thing left is for President Obama to declare that this project is in our nation’s interest. The potential to improve our trade relations with our top ally, Canada, while enhancing our energy security is good for all Americans. This long awaited project should now be swiftly approved. It’s time to put thousands of Americans to work,” said API CEO Gerard.
“After five years of review, we know all we possibly could about the Keystone XL pipeline,” said Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy. “The question now is whether the Administration will follow the facts and analysis, or let other considerations guide the decision making process. A majority of the American public have long supported to project so for the sake of for the sake of our energy security and economy, the choice is clear—the Keystone XL pipeline should be approved.”