Rep. Cassidy: Time to Support 'American Dream,' Approve Keystone XL

Saturday, 28 Jun 2014 10:01 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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President Barack Obama and Democratic lawmakers would "rather your family struggle than offend their political base," Louisiana Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy said while calling for a halt to the long delays on approving TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline.

The pipeline, if it is ever approved, will bring crude oil from Canada's oil sands fields over the Montana border and to the Texas Gulf Coast, but Republicans expect Obama to veto the pipeline even if the Senate votes to approve it.

In Saturday's GOP address,  Cassidy called for action on the pipeline, saying it will create more than 42,000 jobs and save lives because shipping oil by truck or train would decrease.

Story continues below video.



"When I listen to you, you tell me that you are sick of partisan fights, you want your concerns addressed, you want common sense solutions," he says. "It is all our responsibility to make sure that this happens; to get Washington out of the way, so that you can provide for yourself and your family, so that you can pursue your American dream."

Cassidy, who is a doctor, said his patients often tell him they are "fed up" with Washington and partisan fighting.

And part of enabling the nation's citizens to live the "American dream" is to further their opportunities, Cassidy said.

"Working Americans have traditionally been employed in energy, manufacturing and construction," he said. "Energy begins it all."

He pointed to the Haynesville Shale natural gas field in his own state, noting that gas production "creates energy jobs, which in turn drives demand for manufacturing jobs — for example, producing steel, steel used for things such as building pipelines."

Energy costs less in the United States because there is a great deal of natural gas and oil in North America.

"Lower cost energy encourages manufacturers to build factories here, not in India or China," Cassidy said. "America’s natural resources create good paying energy, manufacturing and construction jobs for us."

Energy also produces jobs, said Cassidy, pointing out a man he once met at a technical college who was enrolling to get his commercial driver's license. The man appeared to have emphysema, he said, but could still drive and with a CDL, get a job in an energy-producing town where he'd earn at least

"He had a choice — disability or start a new career," said Cassidy. "He had the opportunity to start a new career. You have your own dreams. There are common sense solutions to provide you opportunity. One is the Keystone XL Pipeline."

But Obama continues to oppose such projects, and "Democrats in Washington stand with President Obama rather than standing with hardworking families in Louisiana and elsewhere. They would rather your family struggle than offend their political base."

Cassidy, who is running for Senate in Louisiana, also called to "retire [Nevada Republican Sen.] Harry Reid" as Senate leader and stop him and other Democrats from blocking the pipeline and other job-creating projects.

The U.S. Senate Energy Committee last week advanced a bill that would force congressional approval of the pipeline project, but the measure seems unlikely to be taken up by the full Senate.

The bill, the latest effort by lawmakers to breathe life into the long-delayed pipeline from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast, will languish without a commitment from Reid to bring it to a vote.

The measure, from Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Republican Senators John Hoeven of North Dakota and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, would take a decision on approving the pipeline away from the Obama administration.

Last month, Senate Republicans blocked a bipartisan energy-efficiency bill backed by manufacturers and environmentalists, and by doing so forfeited a chance to vote on the long-delayed pipeline.

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