Grover Norquist told CNN’s Candy Crowley on State of the Union Sunday that building the Keystone XL pipeline through the center of the country all the way to the Gulf Coast would have lifted the U.S. out of the recession faster.
Norquist said the Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for the slowing down of the economic recovery and President Barack Obama is preventing job growth by not moving forward with the construction.
“The American people … want jobs,” fellow panelist Donna Brazile, Democratic strategist, told Norquist. “They want the Congress to focus not just on keeping their jobs and winning the next election, but also providing jobs for the American people. That’s what those [approval] numbers reflect.”
“If you look at the economy, the President is not delivering,” Norquist responded. “Certainly the Republicans have passed a series of pieces of legislation that Boehner keeps referencing that would allow jobs to be built, such as the pipeline down through Nebraska that the President is killing. There are quite a number of similar energy positions, energy projects that the president’s EPA and others have killed with hundreds of thousands of jobs lost as a result. If we had job creation from the bottom of his recession, which is June — July of ’09, the way we did from the bottom of Reagan’s recession, we’d have several million more jobs today than we do now. We have a lousy economy.”
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Last month, Obama criticized GOP rhetoric that the Koch Industries tar sands pipeline would be a “big jobs generator.”
“There is no evidence that that’s true,” Obama said. At best, he said there would be 2,000 initial jobs, and no more than 100 additional jobs later.
“That is a blip relative to the need,” he said.
The developer on the project, TransCanada, estimated it would create 118,935 jobs.
Nevertheless, the White House’s skepticism on Keystone is fueling the belief that Obama will not approve the project.
Panelist Mo Elleithee, communicatios director of the Democratic National Committee told Norquist, “I just have to disagree. You want to call it a good economy? It’s an improving economy and by zero measure, zero measure can you say anything otherwise.”
According to ThinkProgress, the State Department found Keystone would only create 35 permanent jobs. Furthermore, the federal government was only responsible for 0.3 percent of the employment lost in 2010. The EPA proposal to begin regulating mercury and carbon could create an estimated 250,000 jobs.
Obama’s 2009 American Reinvestiment and Recovery Act creating an estimated 2.5 to 3.6 million jobs, many of which were in clean energy, ThinkProgress reported.
Earlier in August, a watchdog group reported that the Keystone XL will increase the price of gasoline in the U.S., especially in the Midwest. The nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog said that Keystone will cause the price of gas to go up 20 to 40 cents per gallon.