Labor Leader Says Obama Lacks 'Courage' To Make Keystone Pipeline Decision

| by Jared Keever

The leader of a labor union that backed both of President Obama’s election campaigns has now publicly denounced the president’s delays in approving the Keystone XL pipeline. 

Fox News reports that Terry O’Sullivan, head of the Laborer’s International Union, wrote in an opinion piece for the Washington Post last week that the president’s most recent delay was politically motivated.

The column came on the heels of an announcement from the Obama administration that it was extending a review period for the pipeline indefinitely. 

O’Sullivan believes the announcement is meant simply to extend the decision beyond the November midterm elections. 

“No one seriously believes that the administration’s nearly-dark-of-night announcement last week, on Good Friday, that the pipeline would again be delayed was anything but politically motivated,” O’Sullivan wrote.

The pipeline is a controversial, proposed line that would carry oil from Canada to Texas. Many Republicans support the proposal as do some Democrats from states through which it would run.

The administration cited ongoing litigation over the pipeline’s route through Nebraska as the reason for the most recent delay according to the New Yorker. Still many feel he is providing political shelter for fellow Democrats by avoiding a difficult decision prior to November’s midterms.

The debate over the pipeline has gone on for over five years and many are growing weary of the continuing delays.

Canadian Ambassador to the U.S., Gary Doer, told Fox News that every delay by the Obama administration regarding the project is an opportunity lost to put people to work.

O’Sullivan agrees. He wrote in his column that the president’s delays amount to a failure “to stand up for working people and the men and women we represent.” He further pointed out that in a quarter of the time it has taken the administration to make a decision regarding Keystone, Americans were once able to build the Empire State Building. 

“A little courage from the administration would go a long way,” O’Sullivan wrote to close his column.

Sources: Fox News, Washington Post, New Yorker