Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Politics Makes for Strange Bedfellows ... Keystone Pipeline and Big Labor

We need jobs in America. We also need good paying jobs. We also need jobs provided by the private sector that taxpayers don't have to subsidize.

Unions like to have their members employed and paying dues. Unions also support a raise in the minimum wage. They also support President Obama and the Democratic Party in a big way.

President Obama says we need more jobs, more good paying jobs, less unemployment and greater energy independence. He also wants to save the middle class. He also recommends an increase in the minimum wage to $9 per hour by 2015 from the current level of $7.25.

We all agree that our nation should strive for energy independence and remain strong allies with Canada, our next door neighbor.

So how about immediately approving the Keystone Pipeline project and requiring that the newly created jobs all pay 50% more than the minimum wage, or at least $10 hourly, Mr. President? Maybe even $12 hourly or higher, if that's what it takes. I'm sure the energy companies already plan to pay much more than that anyway for those new jobs.

AFL-CIO Leaders Endorse U.S. Pipeline Expansion says this about the position of Big Labor:

"Leaders of the AFL-CIO backed the expansion of the nation’s pipeline infrastructure, but stopped short of explicitly endorsing the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, suggesting organized labor is still divided over the project.

The heads of the nation’s biggest labor unions passed a resolution at their annual meeting in Florida Tuesday, saying they supported new pipeline projects that could create up to 125,000 jobs a year between now and 2035.

“The AFL-CIO supports the expansion of our pipeline infrastructure and a much more aggressive approach to the repair of our more than 2.5 million miles of existing pipelines,” the federation statement read in part.

Even though the statement omitted any specific mention of Keystone, the building trades department of the AFL-CIO immediately praised the decision and explicitly linking it to the project, which it has long supported.

“Shovel-ready projects like Keystone XL and other energy infrastructure projects are badly needed,” said Sean McGarvey, president of the Building and Construction Trades Department. “The construction of this project represents an immediate opportunity for 20,000 union members to get back to work.”

A number of unions that belong to the AFL-CIO have strongly opposed the project in the past, including the United Steelworkers. Other unions that would stand to gain jobs from the project, such as the Laborers International Union of North America, which is not part of the AFL-CIO, have argued that the Obama administration should pursue it.

The Keystone pipeline would carry heavy crude oil from Canada to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast, and has been widely opposed by environmental groups.

A spokesman for the steelworkers union declined to comment."

Summing Up

To repeat, politics makes for strange bedfellows.

That said, we need good jobs, more tax receipts and greater energy independence in North America.

We also could use lower gasoline and other energy prices, too.

That would put more money in consumers' pockets to be spent on other things, thereby helping our stagnant economy to grow.

What not's to like, Mr. President? Are the greenies the only people who really count with you?

As the old saying, goes, we can hear what you say, Mr. President. But we're able to learn more, much more, about you when we take the time to watch what you do.

We're all watching, Mr. President.

Thanks. Bob.

No comments:

Post a Comment