WASHINGTON, DC -- Seemingly lost in the post-Election analysis is the indisputable fact that a strong majority of American voters listed the economy and jobs as the most important issues that influenced their vote. In fact, according to Election Day exit polling, 6 out of every 10 voters ranked the economy as the top issue, far ahead of health care, the federal budget deficit, or foreign policy.
With these numbers in mind, our organizations today are calling upon President Barack Obama to move swiftly to issue the final permitting for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The unemployment rate in the U.S. construction industry today remains close to 12 percent. And for our members, large majorities of whom not only voted for President Obama in key battleground states like Ohio and Iowa, but also knocked on doors, made phone calls and provided the crucial on-the-ground support that enabled him to return to office, the calculus of this issue is straightforward and simple: They voted for President Obama because they believed in his commitment to job creation. For them, JOBS CAN'T WAIT!"
Like the vast majority of Americans, the skilled craft professionals who comprise America’s Building Trades Unions enjoy and value our nation's environment. Thousands of our members enjoy hunting, fishing, and a multitude of outdoor recreational activities. Further, TransCanada has already agreed to go above and beyond the current industry norm when building Keystone XL by agreeing to 57 safety conditions that the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, or PHMSA, has recommended. Additionally, I am proud to say that only the safest, most experienced and qualified craft workers from America's Building Trades Unions will be deployed to ensure the safe construction of this pipeline.
The Keystone XL pipeline has passed every analysis and review over the last two years, leading the U.S. State Department to conclude that the pipeline would meet all applicable environmental and safety standards. Meanwhile, additional American job creation and economic growth from this important project has been delayed.
So, now it's time for the collective voices of long-suffering and hard-working Americans to be heard. And our message is quite simple: On November 6th, America voted for Jobs. We urge the President to issue the final permitting for the Keystone XL Pipeline now so that tens of thousands of hard-working American families can share in our nation’s ongoing recovery.
This Statement was released by Sean McGarvey, President - Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO.