Metro-East News

Local reaction to Keystone pipeline rejection is sour

Local members of Congress blasted President Barack Obama’s decision on Friday to reject a Canadian company’s proposal to construct a pipeline from Canada to Texas.

Obama said approval of the pipeline’s construction would have undercut the nation’s leadership among world nations in the battle against climate change.

John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, called the decision “a shameless political move” that was “based upon neither the facts nor our national interest.”

“Here in Illinois, the original Keystone pipeline safely carries crude oil from Alberta to the Wood River Refinery and Patoka tank farm,” Shimkus said in a statement. “This pipeline has supported high-paying jobs in our area since 2010, and Keystone XL promised to do the same for thousands more American workers. Because of President Obama’s decision today, those jobs will be created overseas instead.”

Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, said in a statement that Obama “chose politics over people.”

“We continue to see the impact this administration’s attack on our energy sector is having on Illinois families. It seems like every other week there is another announcement about a coal mine or power plant forced to close because of new rules and regulations coming from the Executive Branch,” Davis said. “Instead of encouraging energy independence and job growth within this industry, the president continues to placate his political base.”

Murphysboro Republican Mike Bost said he was disappointed Obama shut down a project he said could have generated more than 40,000 jobs.

“This was another step in making America more energy independent and had the support of more than 60 percent of Americans. Keystone should be about jobs and domestic energy — not politics and ideology,” Bost said.