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Policy: Labor

Another blue-collar union asks Senate Dems to support Keystone XL

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Mark Tapscott,Morning Examiner,Labor unions,Senate,Labor,Democratic Party,Harry Reid,Keystone XL

Senators are hearing from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in an appeal for approval of the Keystone XL pipeline project.

The IBEW is the latest of the growing number of traditional blue-collar unions taking an aggressive pro-Keystone position opposed in large part by Big Green environmentalists and their Democratic supporters in the Obama administration.

It's the jobs, stupid

"At a time when job creation should be a top priority, the KXL pipeline project will put Americans back to work and have ripple benefits throughout the economy," said IBEW President Edwin Hill in a letter to individual Senate Democrats.

"During construction, the project is expected to support at least 42,000 jobs and contribute $3.4 billion to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product," Hill said.

"From pipe manufactured in Arkansas, to pump motors assembled in Ohio and transformers built in Pennsylvania, workers from all over the United States will benefit from the project," he said.

Keystone trapped in Senate snafu

As the Washington Examiner's Susan Ferrechio reports, a Keystone approval measure supported by all Senate Republicans and a number of Senate Democrats is caught in a dispute between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the GOPers.

The GOP senators want to offer amendments to an energy efficiency bill but Reid has all but sealed off the amendment process to the minority party.

"Proponents of the Keystone measure say there are 58 Republican and Democratic senators who would vote for it, three shy of what is needed to keep the bill from failing," according to Ferrechio.

Two more Democrats?

That's the challenge facing Keystone supporters among the labor movement's leadership in the nation's capital.

The IBEW/Hill letter is an illustration of how they are going about the task and their appeal is straightforward — our members need the jobs.

"Although America is slowly recovering from the worst recession since the Great Depression, unemployment rates remain high, especially in the construction industry," Hill said in the conclusion of his appeal to Senate Democrats.

To understand why the unions are having such a tough time getting their message across, check out Tom Steyer's $100 million sledgehammer.

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Author:

Mark Tapscott

Executive Editor
The Washington Examiner