Published December 20, 2015
The head of a major labor union is lambasting President Obama over the latest delay on the Keystone XL pipeline, six years after it was initially proposed.
Terry O’Sullivan, leader of the Laborers’ International Union which represents a half-million construction workers, claimed the administration's announcement on Good Friday that it was putting off a decision, possibly until after the midterms, had politics written all over it.
In a Washington Post opinion piece, he suggested that “the Obama administration grow a set of antlers or take a lesson from Popeye and eat some spinach.”
O’Sullivan has turned to various media outlets including The Wall Street Journal to voice his frustration with the pace of the Keystone process, and saying the only thing holding Obama back is courage.
Last week, the administration announced it is extending a key review period indefinitely – a move that may push off a determination on the final project until after the 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 in the April 25 article.
The LIU backed the Obama-Biden ticket during both White House campaigns but says, “that does not negate our right and obligation to speak out when, because of politics, the administration fails to stand up for working people and the men and women we represent.”
Republicans, as well as red-state Democrats who want the proposed Canada-to-Texas pipeline approved, slammed the administration for the delay. Some Democrats even threatened to find ways around the president to get the pipeline project approved.
Moderate Democrats, as well as labor unions, are pressing the State Department to give the thumbs-up, calling the project a jobs engine and a way to boost energy security. But environmental interests, and lawmakers allied with them, are strongly opposed -- citing its alleged impact on climate change and possible health risks.
Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. Gary Doer told Fox News after the announcement Friday that every day the project is delayed is a lost opportunity to put people to work. The State Department said it delayed a decision in order to wait for the results of a court case in Nebraska.