By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Martha Roby (R-Montgomery), and Congressman Spencer Bachus (R-Vestavia) all responded to President Obama’s decision to reject the permit to allow private oil companies from building the Keystone XL Pipeline which would have carried Canadian tar sands oil to American refineries in Illinois and Oklahoma where it would link with existing pipelines to carry oil to refineries in Texas and the Gulf Coast. Rep. Bachus said, “This is a bad decision for America.”
Congresswoman Roby said on Facebook, “The President spends a great deal of his time talking about job creation, but today he blocked the Keystone XL pipeline project that would have actually created tens of thousands of jobs. Additionally, the pipeline would increase energy supply in America, stabilize energy prices for all Americans, and decrease our dependence on Middle Eastern sources of oil.”
In his statement Senator Sessions wrote, “This is a stunning decision at a time when the need for economic growth and job creation could not be greater. It is a huge lost opportunity to create good-paying jobs for middle class Americans without adding to our nation’s enormous debt. President Obama is apparently interested in pursuing jobs only through government spending and not through private sector growth.”
Congressman Bachus wrote, “Anyone following events in the Middle East knows how important it is for America to reduce its dependence on oil from hostile regimes. The Keystone pipeline would bring up to a million barrels of oil a day into the U.S. from our faithful friend, Canada.”
Rep. Bachus criticized the decision further, “Affordable, reliable energy is critical to manufacturers in Alabama and to job creation across the country. President Obama and his Administration have put politics ahead of our energy needs and national security with this decision and increased the likelihood that the oil and jobs will go to China instead.”
Sen. Session said that the 1,700 mile long Keystone XL oil pipeline would have created 20,000 new private-sector construction jobs.
In his statement, President Barack H. Obama blamed Republicans for imposing a time deadline on his administration making a decision: “This announcement is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people. I’m disappointed that Republicans in Congress forced this decision.”
Critics, including the Heritage Foundation, however, say that Transamerica applied for the permit in 2008 and that the State Department has already performed an exhaustive study of the proposed pipeline.
The Heritage Foundation wrote: “Given the need for jobs and more oil on the global market to offset high prices, the permit application had been moving along positively with bipartisan support without much attention until environmental activists made blocking the Keystone XL pipeline their issue to rally around for 2011. Although President Obama and the Department of State (DOS) said they’d make a decision at the end of 2011, they ultimately catered to a narrow set of special interests, punting the decision until after the 2012 elections.”
Senator Jeff Sessions, Representative Roby, and Representative Bachus have all been vocal proponents of the Keystone Pipeline project.
Rep. Bachus is in his tenth term and represents Alabama’s Sixth District which comprises parts of Blount, Jefferson, Shelby, Coosa, Chilton, and Bibb Counties.
Jefferson Beauregard “Jeff” Sessions is in his third term in the United States Senate.
Rep. Martha Roby is in her first term representing Alabama Second district, which consists of Montgomery and the Wiregrass.