President Barack Obama’s rejection earlier this month of the Keystone XL pipeline linking Canada to Gulf Coast refineries saying it would “not make a meaningful long-term contribution to our economy” and would not “lower gas prices for American consumers” was the wrong decision say the congressional candidates seeking to replace former Congressman John Boehner.
The pipeline, which would have crossed six states, emerged as a political symbol for the struggle between those who want to combat climate change and those who believed it would create construction jobs and spur the economy.
Trans Canada, a Canadian energy company, had been asking the United States since 2007 to approve the 1,179-mile pipeline, which would have connected to an existing pipeline in Nebraska to ship oil from the tar sands in the Canadian province of Alberta to Gulf Coast refineries.
Those who have announced their intent to run for Ohio’s 8th Congressional District seat have assailed Obama’s decision.
Here’s what the candidates had to say:
State Rep. Bill Beagle, R-Tipp City
“Again, President Obama and his liberal allies have failed the American people. His decision to pander to political cronies instead of seizing an opportunity to strengthen our economy and energy security is beyond reproach. We as Republicans must use this as a rallying cry to put trusted conservative leaders in the White House and Congress — leaders who will listen to their constituents, take decisive action, and put the good of hardworking Americans above partisan interests.”
Rep. Tim Derickson, R-Hanover Twp.
“President Obama once again put empty rhetoric on unproven science ahead of American jobs and reliable North American energy. The president alluded that lowering gas prices deem the Keystone Pipeline unnecessary. The sad irony is that gas prices are lowering in spite of the President’s policies, not because of them.”
“In the Ohio House, I have a record of supporting and defending North American energy resources like shale and coal.”
In 2013, Derickson was one of 64 co-sponsor of HCR9, which urged Obama to approve the Keystone Pipeline.
Scott George, of Troy
“The president’s decision is purely political.”
“This type of project is nothing new, the U.S. has over 1.5 million miles of gas pipeline and over 150,000 miles of oil pipelines beneath the ground today. We have proven we can do this safely. To cite climate change as your reason for taking a stand is void of any sound scientific logic and is purely political.”
“The Keystone XL Pipeline extension would provide a safer mode of transporting the oil. It would not only carry oil from Canada, it would also pickup volume from the oil fields in Montana and North Dakota.”
“Construction of this pipeline would result in over 43,000 jobs, with most of them being permanent.”
Eric Gurr, of West Chester Twp.
“There are hundreds and hundreds of oil pipelines in the U.S. This was a stupid decision and fundamentally illogical. Obama has finally abandoned the private sector unions and displayed once again a complete lack of understanding on how the economy works and how much the American middle class is suffering. He himself admitted we are going to be dependent on oil for quite some time as we transition to a balanced energy approach. I can find no other word than stupid to explain this decision.”
Eric Haemmerle, of West Chester Twp.
“This is yet another example of this president’s misguided and naïve agenda. He has declared war on the energy producing sector of this nation. His policies have had adverse effects on our economy with EPA regulations, and by design, have crippled many red states in the process.
President Obama stated that his objective in the rejection of the pipeline is that the construction of the Keystone Pipeline would adversely affect climate change by emitting more greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. This is only exacerbating the myth that is global warming.”
Roger Reynolds, of Liberty Twp.
“We need an all of the above energy policy that can sustain America’s energy needs, provide good paying jobs, and make us less energy dependent on countries who don’t like us very much. The Keystone XL pipeline should be a major part of that plan.”
“By building the pipeline we immediately create thousands of construction jobs in addition to many other jobs to support and maintain the project. The Keystone XL pipeline would allow us to better control the flow of oil from Canada to our southern coast, thus reaping the advantages our geopolitical position gives us over oil bearing nations that have held American energy hostage for far too many years.”
“Obama’s EPA continues to wage war on American energy by creating more and more job-destroying regulations each year.”
Kevin F. White, of New Carlisle
“Reasons (for rejecting the pipeline) cited in his press conference show no leadership and worse, no understanding of business/economic issues. Americans know better. Mr. Obama often tells us decisions must be based on facts and not hyperbole but he shows no credibility when he takes actions based purely on political allegiance to his liberal base.”
“I believe we can safely harvest natural resources and produce quality products in America and at the same time be good stewards of our water, air and natural resources. … we can build and maintain a petroleum product distribution pipeline; we have the technology and the best people, engineers and companies in the world to get that job done and many more like it.”
J.D. Winteregg, of Troy
“When listening to voters within Ohio’s 8th district, they have made it abundantly clear that they — along with a majority of average, working Americans — want to move towards energy independence. When presented with an opportunity to do just that by approving the Keystone XL pipeline, Barack Obama — along with the rest of the Washington, D.C. establishment — put his personal agenda ahead of what’s best for the American people. His devotion to corporate, big money environmental interests has once again trumped the interests of the average American.”
The 8th Congressional District incorporates all of Butler, Clark, Darke, Miami and Preble counties, and the southernmost portion of Mercer County. It stretches from the shores of Grand Lake St. Mary’s along its northern borders to just before the northern portion of the Interstate 275 loop in Greater Cincinnati.
This article contains previous reporting by staff writer Marc Baedorf.