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Building Trades disappointed with Keystone XL decision


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November 6, 2015 by STAFF REPORT

The Keystone XL pipeline project killed by President Obama
The Keystone XL pipeline project killed by President Obama

Stopping the Keystone XL pipeline is a missed opportunity for creating new jobs in all sectors of the North American economy, says Robert Blakely, Canadian Operating Officer for Canada’s Building Trades Unions.

“Pipelines are the most efficient method of transporting energy products to markets,” notes Blakely. “This decision will have impacts on Canada’s rail systems, our communities and thousands of apprentices who rely on work in Canada’s energy sector.

“This decision in the United States makes a Canadian infrastructure solution even more important in the coming months and years.  Canada must and will seek new markets for our oil and gas products. We will continue to advocate for this project and others like it to promote jobs and growth in North America. 

“Canada and the United States missed an opportunity to work together on climate change related policies.  A major project like Keystone should be an impetus for change. “

“Getting our resources to global markets is vital for Alberta, vital for Canada, and vital for the strength of our energy and resource economy,” says Warren Fraleigh Executive Director of the Building Trades of Alberta. “Moving forward, our companies and governments may forgo significant revenue and jobs due to lack of pipeline capacity and access to markets.

“The BTA supports pipeline projects that lead to the responsible development of our resources as well as initiatives to incentivize additional provincial refining capacity in Alberta.  The BTA supports the sustainable and long term growth of the Oil Sands as the economic foundation of jobs and training opportunities in Alberta. 

“Unfortunately, this most recent decision may do away with many good paying extraction and refining jobs for Alberta, for Canada and for the United States for generations to come. ” 

Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America, called President Obama’s decision to block the pipeline project “disgusting.

“We are dismayed  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,” O’Sullivan says in a statement today. “His actions are shameful.”

Brian P. McGuire, president and CEO of Associated Equipment Distributors of America, said “it’s inexcusable that after seven years of foot dragging President Obama has denied the cross-border permit for the Keystone XL pipeline project.

“His own State Department has said the project will support a substantial number of jobs and significant economic activity with minimal environmental impact.  Unfortunately, in denying the permit, the president has made a decision based on political rhetoric rather than concrete evidence. 

“Denying the permit means the president has cut off a safe and reliable energy source during a period of unprecedented instability in the Middle East.  Under the recent Iran nuclear deal, Iranian oil can again flow to world markets, but by rejecting Keystone the president is denying that same access to our closet trading partner.  Any way you look at – from an economic, environmental, national security or foreign policy standpoint – the president has made the wrong decision.” 


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