David Holt

The rejection of the pipeline meant the immediate loss of 8,500 construction jobs, a sector currently experiencing a 17.7% unemployment rate. Many of these jobs would have been filled by hard-working Americans who could use some good news. According to project data, this includes 2,584 operators, 1,887 laborers, 1,921 welders, 272 mechanics, and dozens of quality and environmental control supervisors. In addition, we also lost 8,500 monitoring jobs and 3,000 jobs at the project’s thirty pump stations.

All of this is lost over false environmental concerns already disproven by one of the President’s most trusted agencies. Never mind the fact the pipeline would have been monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week with over 21,000 data points linked to satellites that feed data to a control center at five second intervals.

Apparently none of these factors trumped the need to satisfy a key constituency that believes our nation must jettison all fossil fuels from its energy repertoire. Due to the decision to please a few at the expense of many our nation’s businesses and consumers now face significant uncertainties, and increased costs; all because the President failed to stand up for science, facts and reason.

America needs energy from all sources to remain economically competitive and struggling Americans need jobs to keep their heads above water. The Keystone XL pipeline would have provided both. Keystone XL’s safety and regulatory standards are unparalleled, it has passed rigorous inspections, and it stands to create 20,000 jobs across a myriad of sectors. For all these reasons, its rejection is difficult to understand and is something we must work collectively to reverse.

David Holt

David Holt is President of the Consumer Energy Alliance.