Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell blasted President Biden for taking the “wrong direction” on his first day in office — including stripping Americans of thousands of jobs by killing the Keystone XL pipeline project.
“On the Biden administration’s very first day, it took several big steps in the wrong direction,” McConnell, now the Senate minority leader, said Thursday on the Senate floor.
Noting that Biden doesn’t “owe his election to the far left,” McConnell listed several actions Biden took on Thursday, including rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement and yanking the permit for the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline.
“The Day One priority was to kill thousands of American jobs, including union jobs, disappointing our strong ally Canada, and reverse some of our progress toward energy security,” McConnell said.
The Kentucky senator also mentioned that the 1,200-mile pipeline project, which would’ve moved oil from the Canadian province of Alberta into Nebraska but was staunchly opposed by environmentalists and Native Americans, enjoyed support from Canadian President Justin Trudeau. He said the State Department under the Obama administration ruled that it wouldn’t harm the environment.
“But because canceling a pipeline project just feels the green thing to do, the new administration killed all these jobs,” McConnell said.
The project — an expansion of an existing pipeline — has hit numerous legal roadblocks after it was first proposed in 2008.
It was revived by former President Donald Trump before Biden revoked the permit that allowed the pipeline to cross the Canadian border with an executive order saying it “disserves the US national interest.”
Meanwhile, several senators from the western US sent letters on Tuesday to Biden urging him to reconsider.
“The project is projected to provide approximately 11,000 jobs by 2021,” said one joint letter, signed by Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), John Hoeven (R-ND), Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.). “These are real, high-paying jobs that help keep thousands of families employed with food on the table.”
In his own letter, Sen. Matthew Rosendale (R-Mont.) said finishing the project was “in the best interest of our economic recovery and is critical in ensuring American energy independence moving forward.(New York Post).