Conservative lawmakers in the House and Senate are keeping up the pressure on President Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, despite the fact that the president made no mention of the project Tuesday in his State of the Union speech.
Reacting to the speech, Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., an ardent proponent of the pipeline, which would ship crude oil from Alberta, Canada, to Gulf Coast refineries, said: “Although it is only one project, the Keystone XL pipeline illustrates the way the president is holding up our economy and discouraging real, private-sector job creation. The Keystone pipeline, and projects like it, will create millions of jobs…. Yet the Keystone XL pipeline has languished for five years in regulatory limbo, while millions remain jobless.”
Over on the other side of the Capitol, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., also touted the project as a jobs creator.
“Building the architecture of abundance and saying yes to widely supported projects like the Keystone pipeline will help create jobs today and keep energy affordable tomorrow,” Upton said in a statement. “We face great challenges as a nation, but now is the time to come together, not go it alone, in the effort to create jobs and boost the middle class.”
The conservative lawmakers were joined by private-sector supporters of the pipeline, including Jay Timmons, the president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers.
“The president missed an opportunity to show the American people that Washington can put politics aside for pro-growth policies,” Timmons said in a statement. “His call for an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy neglected to include the Keystone XL pipeline, and his comment on tax reform once again used the political target of energy producers while failing to call for comprehensive reform that will drive growth for all industries.”
Environmental activists have long opposed the pipeline on the grounds that it will accelerate Canadian oil sands development. Project backers, however, say it will not have any substantial environmental impact and contend that shipping crude by pipeline is safer than by truck or rail.
Obama has said he will not greenlight Keystone XL unless it has been demonstrated that the pipeline will not significantly add to atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide.
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Just after President Obama finished his address to the DNC, Hillary Clinton walked out on stage to join him, so the better could share a few embraces, wave to the crowd—and let the cameras capture all the unity for posterity.
In a speech that began a bit like a State of the Union address, President Obama said the "country is stronger and more prosperous than it was" when he took office eight years ago. He then talked of battling Hillary Clinton for the nomination in 2008, and discovering her "unbelievable work ethic," before saying that no one—"not me, not Bill"—has ever been more qualified to be president. When his first mention of Donald Trump drew boos, he quickly admonished the crowd: "Don't boo. Vote." He then added that Trump is "not really a plans guy. Not really a facts guy, either."
Tim Kaine introduced himself to the nation tonight, devoting roughly the first half of his speech to his own story (peppered with a little of his fluent Spanish) before pivoting to Hillary Clinton—and her opponent. "Hillary Clinton has a passion for children and families," he said. "Donald Trump has a passion, too: himself." His most personal line came after noting that his son Nat just deployed with his Marine battalion. "I trust Hillary Clinton with our son's life," he said.
Michael Bloomberg said he wasn't appearing to endorse any party or agenda. He was merely there to support Hillary Clinton. "I don't believe that either party has a monopoly on good ideas or strong leadership," he said, before enumerating how he disagreed with both the GOP and his audience in Philadelphia. "Too many Republicans wrongly blame immigrants for our problems, and they stand in the way of action on climate change and gun violence," he said. "Meanwhile, many Democrats wrongly blame the private sector for our problems, and they stand in the way of action on education reform and deficit reduction." Calling Donald Trump a "dangerous demagogue," he said, "I'm a New Yorker, and a know a con when I see one."
Vice President Biden tonight called President Obama "one of the finest presidents we have ever had" before launching into a passionate defense of Hillary Clinton. "Everybody knows she's smart. Everybody knows she's tough. But I know what she's passionate about," he said. "There's only one person in this race who will help you. ... It's not just who she is; it's her life story." But he paused to train some fire on her opponent "That's not Donald Trump's story," he said. "His cynicism is unbounded. ... No major party nominee in the history of this country has ever known less."