Washington, D.C. (Press Release – January 18, 2012) – A national small business advocacy organization said that small businesses and workers will suffer because of President Obama’s decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) President & CEO Karen Kerrigan observed that the president’s decision came down to pure politics given the facts supporting Keystone’s construction, as well as the positive outcomes the pipeline would produce for America. The facts, according to Kerrigan, overwhelmingly demonstrate that Keystone is in the national interest. Now, however, thousands of new jobs, along with vital economic development, energy and national security benefits are lost – at least in the short term – because the President sided with fringe environmentalists.
“America’s workers and small businesses need Keystone XL. The project was set to create 20,000 immediate jobs and 118,000 spin-off jobs in businesses of all sizes. The pipeline was proven to be environmentally safe. A three-year, comprehensive environmental assessment from the State Department found that Keystone will have ‘limited adverse environmental impacts’ during its construction and operation. The best entrepreneurs and workers in the world, using the best technology, were ready to work on this critical project. Make no mistake, nobody is fooled by the invitation allowing TransCanada to ‘reapply’ after the Nebraska route has been selected. This is a huge blow to America’s economic, energy and national security interests,” said SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan.
In addition to new construction jobs, Keystone XL will enable greater development of Canadian oil sands, which means more U.S. goods and services will be needed to support the increase. It is estimated that an uptick in such development could add $521 billion to U.S. GDP between now and 2035. When the U.S. economy is growing, our entrepreneurial sector flourishes. Jobs are created, investment is more robust and our innovative capacity is bolstered. Such outcomes are obviously in the national interest, but President Obama did not see it that way.
Raymond J. Keating, SBE Council Chief Economist added: “This decision means, quite simply, reduced access to secure sources of energy, lower economic output, the loss of tens of thousands of new jobs, and lost opportunities for small businesses in energy-related fields. Keep in mind, for example, that based on the latest Census Bureau data (2009), 98.7% of employer firms involved in supporting oil and gas operations have fewer than 500 workers, and 83.3% less than 20 employees. As for firms in the oil and gas pipeline construction industry, 94.9% have less than 500 employees, and 61.1% fewer than 20 workers.”
“This is an awful decision,” Kerrigan concluded. “A vital economic lifeline for thousands of small businesses and workers has been cut off. We look forward to working with both Democrats and Republicans in the Congress to rectify this unacceptable decision for our nation.”
SBE Council is a national small business advocacy and research organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship. For more information, please visit: www.sbecouncil.org.