Keystone XL Pipeline interests by politicians insincere
Wednesday, January 27, 2021 Letter to the Editor by Aaron Dunbar, Athens, OH
Among Joe Biden’s first acts as President was to revoke the permit for the abomination known as the Keystone XL Pipeline. Conservative lawmakers, days after betraying our nation by rejecting Biden’s electoral win and then hypocritically calling for unity, instantly took to apoplectic fits and crocodile tears across social media and elsewhere, grieving the pipeline’s loss as though mourning the death of America itself.
“Joe Biden’s team has indicated he plans to eliminate thousands of jobs and break a major contract with Canada,” bemoans Ohio District 6 Congressman Bill Johnson, who’s received a total in $666,261 in donations from the oil and gas industry throughout the course of his political career, according to campaign finance website OpenSecrets.org.
“Shutting down the Keystone XL pipeline will eliminate thousands of good-paying union jobs, stifle economic growth, increase costs for working families and undermine America’s energy security,” writes Senator Rob Portman, who’s received $1,104,733 in fossil fuel money during his time in office.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret here — these men do not care one iota about American jobs or the well-being of workers when they bemoan the termination of projects like Keystone XL. If this was actually the case, the entire Republican Party would voice its full-throated support of initiatives like the Green New Deal, a transformative shift toward renewable energy that would create tens of millions of well-paying jobs.
The fossil fuel industry is dying, and there’s no longer any way of getting around this fact. Renewables are the fastest-growing source of energy in the United States, and if our nation actually wants to remain competitive with the rest of the world, as Republicans make a great show of pretending to do, we must begin leading the way in innovation and growth in sustainable technologies and infrastructure.
There is absolutely no defense for approving massive new fossil fuel projects in the year 2021, when we have less than a decade to prevent catastrophic global warming from running wildly out of our control. If Republican lawmakers and the Fox News talking heads actually care about creating good-paying American jobs and building thriving communities, they’ll end their support for the relic of the past that is the fossil fuel industry, and support a rapid transition toward building a green, sustainable future that works for all of us.