In the Weekly Republican Address we are told – AGAIN – that The President Must Approve Keystone Pipeline Jobs. All thirty-five of them. This speech continues an ongoing obsession with the Keystone XL pipeline that borders on the pathological, and which has fixated the House since Day 1 of the 114th Congress.
It was only Thursday when the myth of job creation brought a statement from Speaker of the House John Boehner that,
“Yesterday, the House acted in a bipartisan way to approve the Keystone pipeline. This will create tens of thousands of jobs, or at least 42,000 according to the president’s own State Department. More than 20 of our nation’s governors this morning sent a letter to the White House asking the president to consider signing this important bill. There is no good reason – none whatsoever – for the president to veto this jobs bill.”
None whatsoever, except for the fact that the Keystone XL pipeline is not a job creator. It is not a jobs bill. It will enrich certain Republicans – Boehner and the Kochs included, and of course TransCanada Corp. It will create 35 permanent jobs and a few thousand temporary jobs at a time when Obama is creating jobs hand over fist.
A few dozen jobs will neither make nor break America. Oil soaked prairie and farmlands from the Canadian border to the Gulf Coast, might
Of course, because they are Republicans, it stands to reason (they think) if somebody other than Boehner repeats the same lies, they will suddenly be believed. Enter from stage Far Right, Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, who “touts the jobs, growth, and opportunities that the southern portion of the pipeline has brought to Oklahoma.”
“Out here, that’s what Keystone is about,” Fallin says. “Not politics, not Republicans and Democrats. It’s about jobs. It’s about energy. It’s about infrastructure. And it’s about hope. President Obama was once about that too. That’s why I’m appealing to him to do the right thing, sign this bill, and let us finally build this pipeline.”
Fallin was one of 24 governors who signed a letter to President Obama this week requesting that he reconsider his decision to veto the Keystone XL pipeline. That legislation, S. 1, has been approved by the House and Senate, and was signed by Speaker Boehner on Friday.
Remarks of Governor Mary Fallin of Oklahoma
Weekly Republican Address
Oklahoma City, OK
February 14, 2015
Good morning, I’m Mary Fallin, governor of the great state of Oklahoma. And today, like most Americans, I’m urging President Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
With this project, we have the opportunity to support at least 42,000 jobs in our country, and that’s according to the president’s own State Department. Not only that, we can secure the safest, most cost-effective way to transport these resources. And we can continue building our energy future and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.
Keystone has now been through more than six years of scrutiny – far more than any project of its kind – and it’s passed every test and cleared every hurdle. But still, the president just drags his feet.
The good news now is, members of both parties in Congress have come together to pass a bill giving Keystone the green light.
Today I’d like to share with you a story to help illustrate why President Obama should sign it.
You see, here in Oklahoma, we have the part of this pipeline that’s already been approved. It’s the Gulf Coast portion that runs from Cushing, Oklahoma south into Texas.
This one portion of the pipeline is on track to generate over $15 million annually in tax revenue for Oklahoma. That’s a big boost for our state, with 85 percent of that money going to our public schools. If the whole project is approved, the volume of oil flowing through Oklahoma would increase by 75 percent. That’s a steady, reliable source of revenue coming in for the foreseeable future.
The construction of this pipeline has helped fuel our state’s economic comeback. The project had two main construction bases – one in Prague and one in Atoka. These are small towns, populations of no more than a few thousand people or so. Having about 1,000 workers based out of these camps was a great source of economic development for those communities. And at its peak, about 4,000 workers were part of the construction of the Gulf Coast pipeline. That’s some 12 million man-hours of labor.
And even now, after construction, the pipeline continues to bring jobs and opportunities into Oklahoma. Statewide, since 2010, Oklahoma has seen a 44 percent jump in pipeline transportation and construction jobs.
Remember, this is all from ONE part of ONE pipeline in ONE state. Just think of what we could achieve if this whole project were allowed to go forward.
Now I know these are a lot of numbers – especially for a Saturday morning – but behind each one is a story of its own: a worker who now has a job, who now has insurance, who can put food on the table, who can plan and hope for the future.
Out here, that’s what Keystone is about. Not politics, not Republicans and Democrats. It’s about jobs. It’s about energy. It’s about infrastructure. It’s about hope.
President Obama was once about that too.
That’s why I’m appealing to him to do the right thing, sign this bill, let us finally build this pipeline. Let us get our people working.
Thank you for listening, and of course, Happy Valentine’s Day.
When Fallin says, “Keystone has now been through more than six years of scrutiny – far more than any project of its kind – and it’s passed every test and cleared every hurdle. But still, the president just drags his feet,” she is, like Boehner, lying through her teeth. It has not cleared every hurdle.
The much touted State Department assessment that Keystone was “environmentally sound” was a direct result of Republican budget cuts, the area over which the pipeline crosses is likely to experience earthquakes, and oh by the way, the EPA has ruled that Keystone XL will be an environmental disaster.
Boehner and Fallin may have 24 governors, but Obama has 61 percent of the American people according to one poll. And in the final analysis this is government of, by, and for the people, not a group of oil-drenched Koch-whores in Congress.
That will remain true no matter how many people Boehner trots out to the podium to tell the same tired old lies about a project to put money in his pocket at our expense.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.