I’ve been saying it for years: we don’t have to choose between a healthy environment and a healthy economy! But when it comes to the Keystone XL pipeline, Republicans in Congress are trying to trick us into thinking that we have to do just that.
They’ve created a false framework where it’s either Keystone XL or nothing. Listening to them, you’d think that if we don’t approve this pipeline the consequences will be dire—that America will never build another infrastructure project or create a single job. They think the Keystone pipeline is a silver bullet that will strengthen our economy.
They want to argue that approving Keystone XL is about creating jobs that will strengthen our nation’s economy? Well, they seem to be forgetting an important point: this pipeline will create only 35 permanent jobs. And what is the price we pay for these 35 jobs? Millions of tons of new carbon pollution dumped into the air and a pipeline that threatens waterways and communities across the Midwest.
These politicians have made Keystone XL a priority—not because they think it is a silver bullet of American job-creation—but because they are listening carefully to the fossil fuel donors who prioritize profits over our national interest. Americans need good jobs, yes, and we can do a lot better than this proposal.
While Republicans in Congress spend their political capital to push the Keystone XL pipeline, the fact remains that they are continuing to ignore a series of measures that would create hundreds of thousands of good-paying, clean energy jobs across the nation.
Our economy is growing at a fast clip, creating nearly 2.5 million private sector jobs last year and 12 million jobs over the past five years—but there is still more to do. And with 500,000 clean energy jobs potentially sitting on the table, America can’t afford for Republicans to stall any longer.
Our elected leaders in Congress should be focusing on our future—on strengthening our economy, creating jobs and addressing climate change once and for all. The good news is that we can do it. The policies are drafted. The jobs are there for the taking.
It’s now up to Congress to lead.