Union: Obama Shows ‘Disdain’ for Working Americans With Keystone Decision

President Obama
November 6, 2015

One of the largest unions of construction workers slammed President Obama for his decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline Friday, accusing the president of showing "utter disdain" for the American worker.

Terry O’Sullivan, general president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), accused Obama of bending to special interest groups by choosing to decline TransCanada’s proposal to build the pipeline in pursuit of his climate change agenda.

"President Obama today demonstrated that he cares more about kowtowing to green-collar elitists than he does about creating desperately needed, family-supporting, blue-collar jobs," O’Sullivan said in a statement Friday.

"After a seven-year circus of cowardly delay, the president’s decision to kill the Keystone XL pipeline is just one more indication of an utter disdain and disregard for salt-of-the-earth, middle-class working Americans."

"The politics he has played with their lives and livelihoods is far dirtier than oil carried by any pipeline in the world, and the cynical manipulation of the approval process has made a mockery of regulatory institutions and government itself," O’Sullivan further stated.

The union leader said that Obama has thrown construction and other American blue-collar workers "under the bus" by pressing forward with his agenda against global warming "while doing little or nothing to make a real difference in global climate change."

O’Sullivan also cited the Affordable Care Act’s "Cadillac tax" and the president’s support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership as other evidence of his "disdain" for working Americans.

"The president may be celebrated by environmental extremists, but with this act, President Obama has also solidified a legacy as a pompous, pandering job killer," O’Sullivan said.

In announcing the decision Friday, Obama said that the pipeline would not have had a significant long-term impact on the U.S. economy. A State Department report released in 2013 predicted that the project would have supported up to 42,100 annual jobs nationwide over its construction period.

The president’s decision came just after the Department of Labor revealed that the U.S. economy added  271,000 jobs in October. However, the labor force participation rate still remains at a 38-year low of 62.4 percent.