Senator Grills USDOT Secretary Nominee Over Biden’s Order to Cancel Keystone XL Pipeline
Washington D.C. – The man tapped to lead the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) was grilled last week on Capitol Hill over President Biden’s decision to block construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
Only hours after taking the oath of office, President Biden followed through on a campaign promise and issued an Executive Order (EO) to revoke the construction permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.
In a confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, USDOT Secretary nominee Pete Buttigieg was confronted on the issue by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).
“In 2021 the Keystone Pipeline was scheduled to have more than 11,000 jobs, including 8,000 union jobs, for contracts worth $1.6 billion,” Sen. Cruz said. “And with the stroke of a pen President Biden has told those 11,000 workers ‘Your jobs are gone.’ Mr. Buttigieg, what do you say to those workers whose jobs were just eliminated by presidential edict?”
“Well, I think the most important thing is to make sure that we make good on the promise of the President’s climate vision as being one that on net creates far more jobs, millions we hope,” Buttigieg responded. “I know that won’t just happen. We’ll have to do a lot of work to make sure that’s real, but getting this right means ensuring that there are more good-paying union jobs for all Americans delivered through that infrastructure vision.”
“So, for those workers the answer is ‘somebody else will get a job?'” Senator Cruz pressed further.
“The answer is that we are very eager to see those workers continue to be employed in good-paying union jobs, even if they might be different ones,” Buttigieg replied.
Sen. Cruz went on to express concern that Biden’s USDOT may soon issue “a whole series of regulatory decisions” that will lead to job losses across multiple sectors.
Buttigieg, who laid out his “new climate vision” during his opening remarks, reiterated that it was his objective to enact USDOT policy to combat climate change.
“I think the answer is that we’re going to create more good-paying union jobs and we can do that while recognizing the fact that when the books are written about our careers, one of the main things we’ll be judged on is whether we did enough to stop the destruction of life and property due to climate change,” he declared.
Buttigieg’s defense highlights the Biden Administration’s commitment to enacting an aggressive environmentalist agenda while at the same time promising to replace jobs in the fossil fuel industry with higher-paying “green jobs” in the renewable energy sector.
However, multiple unions that endorsed President Biden, including the Laborer’s International Union of North America, North American Building Trades Union, and United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters quickly lashed out at his decision to cancel the project.
“In revoking this permit, the Biden Administration has chosen to listen to the voices of fringe activists instead of union members and the American consumer on Day 1,” said the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters.
WATCH the full exchange between Senator Cruz and Mr. Buttigieg below at 1:59:30.