In one of his first actions upon taking office, President Joe Biden issued a climate change-focused executive order that revoked the permit for the continued construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
The move resulted in thousands of job losses and has been seized upon by Republicans to be used against Democrats in the upcoming 2022 midterm election cycle, the Washington Examiner reported.
The focus on the Keystone XL pipeline is part of a broader strategy to attack Democrats over their strident push to immediately shift the nation to renewable energy sources at the expense of fossil fuel-derived domestic energy production, regardless of massive job losses and skyrocketing energy prices.
Jobs lost thanks to Biden
“House Democrats are going to pay the price for their job-killing, anti-energy agenda,” Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN), the National Republican Congressional Committee chairman, told the Examiner.
World Oil reported that just one day after Biden signed the order revoking the pipeline permit, TC Energy Corp. — the company in charge of the pipeline project that will carry Canadian crude oil to American refineries — announced that 1,000 union construction workers in both the U.S. and Canada were laid off.
While the immediate job losses are devastating for those workers and their families, Biden’s order also undoubtedly killed the expected creation of additional jobs related to the project.
An October 2020 news release from the Keystone XL website had announced plans by TC Energy to create another 8,000 pipeline construction-related union jobs, with an estimated $1.6 billion in taxable wages, over the course of 2021 — jobs that will now likely never exist.
The release also noted that the pipeline project had resulted in the creation of more than 13,000 well-compensated union jobs in the U.S. and Canada as well as approximately 60,000 jobs that indirectly supported or were supported by the pipeline — all of which are now at risk of being lost because of Biden.
GOP control of Congress
Those current and anticipated job losses from the pipeline cancellation, not to mention the other related attacks on domestic energy production, will be a focal point for Republicans campaigning against Democrats, particularly in those states where energy production is a substantial part of the economy and employment market.
“The polling we did last cycle showed us in places like Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, just how devastating this job-killing, anti-energy agenda is,” Emmer told the Examiner. “That’s why we won.”
Given how closely split both the House and Senate are, a focus on the ramifications of the left’s anti-energy agenda in terms of job losses and increased energy prices, could well result in Republicans regaining majority control of both chambers of Congress in 2022.
In the meantime, and perhaps in preparation for that eventuality, the Examiner noted that a bill has already been drafted that would strip the president of permitting authority over Keystone and other oil pipelines and will likely include additional protections for such projects and the jobs created to construct, maintain and operate them.