President rejects Keystone Pipeline; Critics cry foul

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," January 18, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF “YOUR WORLD”: A pipeline on the verge of being a pipe dream.

Today, the president’s State Department rejecting the Keystone Pipeline proposal, critics blasting the decision, saying it’s going to harm as many as 130,000 jobs.

One of those critics is Jay Timmons. Jay is head of the National Association of Manufacturers.

You know, Jay, we knew this was coming. We knew what the president would say. We knew that he was going to argue, as he did today in a statement, that this was being rushed on him, that Congress was rushing it. It is a done deal.

You argue though that the job loss is much more significant than we have been told, not 20,000, more like 130,000. How did you get to that?


There are 20,000 direct jobs related to the pipeline itself, 118,000 spinoff jobs that would come from that. This was a terrible, terrible decision. This was an example of politics triumphing over sound policy. And you want to talk about how to reduce that deficit? How about the tax revenue that would come in from the workers that are paying taxes and from the energy that’s coming into our country because of the Keystone XL pipeline? It’s not going to happen now.

CAVUTO: You know, Jay, the one thing I didn’t understand about this - - and you’re immersed in it, I know -- I’m not -- but even the Nebraska governor offered, well, we’ll move it to the other side of the state or even hundreds of miles more around the area of dispute, which seemed to be like a common sense solution around this issue. And it was rejected out of hand.

So methinks this is more politics than substance.

TIMMONS: Well, other than today, there was a lot common sense going around on this project.

I have been standing shoulder to shoulder with Terry O’Sullivan, the head of the Laborers Union on this project, because they understand the number of jobs that it creates for their members. But it also is important -- the pipeline project is important because it would provide a stable, reliable, affordable source of energy for manufacturers, who use a third of this nation’s energy output.

That means investment in this country, and that means jobs in this country. And that means our ability to compete and succeed in the international marketplace. You’re exactly right. Politics triumphed over sound policy today. And it’s very, very unfortunate for the American people.

CAVUTO: Now, I don’t want to be cynical, but I think all of this is cynical.

I think the president was for this. It’s getting close to election. Environmentalists were not hot to trot to do this. I suspect, if he’s reelected, the very next day or later on, he would put this back and make it a go. What do you think?

TIMMONS: I don’t really think our economy can wait for that, Neil.

We have got nearly 9 percent, an 8.5 percent unemployment rate. We need these jobs today. We need affordable energy. We need energy coming from a reliable ally from the north, rather than fighting over the Straits of Hormuz, where a maniacal leader is threatening war with the United States over energy.

This absolutely makes no sense. To approve Keystone XL would’ve been good for our economy. It would’ve been good for our national security. It would have created jobs here in this country. It absolutely should have been done. And I hope Congress will figure out a way to get this thing done and over the goal line.

CAVUTO: Jay Timmons, thank you.

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