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The President Has Thrown Working People Under the Bus of His Legacy

 

Washington, D.C. (November 6, 2015) – Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – made the following statement today regarding the Administration’s decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline.

President Obama today demonstrated that he cares more about kowtowing to green-collar elitists than he does about creating desperately needed, family-supporting, blue-collar jobs.  After a seven-year circus of cowardly delay, the President’s decision to kill the Keystone XL Pipeline is just one more indication of an utter disdain and disregard for salt-of-the-earth, middle-class working Americans.  The politics he has played with their lives and livelihoods is far dirtier than oil carried by any pipeline in the world, and the cynical manipulation of the approval process has made a mockery of regulatory institutions and government itself.  We are dismayed and disgusted that the President has once again thrown the members of LIUNA, and other hard-working, blue-collar workers under the bus of his vaunted “legacy,” while doing little or nothing to make a real difference in global climate change.  His actions are shameful.

 

In its Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement Keystone XL Project Executive Summary, issued in January 2014, President Obama’s own State Department concluded that building the Keystone XL “is unlikely to significantly affect the rate of extraction in oil sands.”[1]  Worse, reviewing the impact of not building the Keystone XL, the same report concluded that, “the total annual GHG emissions (direct and indirect) attributed to the No Action scenarios range from 28 to 42 percent greater than for the [Keystone XL].”[2]  But facts apparently mean as little to the President as the construction jobs he repeatedly derided as insignificant because they are “temporary.”  Ironically, the very temporary nature of the President’s own job seems to be fueling a legacy of doing permanent harm to middle- and working class families.

 

From this decision on the Keystone XL, to the attack on quality healthcare through the so-called “Cadillac Tax,” to his efforts to ship good jobs overseas through the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Barack Obama’s disdain for working people is evident. The President may be celebrated by environmental extremists, but with this act, President Obama has also solidified a legacy as a pompous, pandering job killer.

 

 


[1] U.S. Department of State, Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement Keystone XL Project Executive Summary, January 2014, 9.

[2] ibid., 34; emphasis added.

 

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The half-million members of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – are on the forefront of the construction industry, a powerhouse of workers who are proud to build America.