U.S. Representative Jim Gerlach (R-PA6) didn't wait for President Obama to deliver his State of the Union Address Tuesday night before taking him to task on energy.
Gerlach's statement is included in a newsletter issued by the Republican Sixth District Congressman Tuesday afternoon in the hours leading up to the speech.
"Organized labor and centrists House Democrats believed that if you build it, jobs would be created.
Canada warned that not building it could send oil from Alberta's Tar Sands to China rather than to American refineries.
But President Obama decided to listen to those on the fringe left opposed to the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline and rejected an application to begin construction on the project.
Jim called the President's decision to turn his back on a project with the potential to create thousands of American jobs extremely disappointing.
"At a time when Americans want real leadership to help break our dependence on Middle East oil and create jobs, the President failed to lead and opted to block a project that has the potential of creating up to 20,000 jobs," Jim said in this statement.
Laborer's International Union of North America General President Terry O’Sullivan said in a statement the project would create thousands of good jobs at a time when unemployment in the construction industry is 16 percent with 1.3 million men and women jobless.
Newspaper editorial boards and House Democrats took the President to task for his decision.
The Chicago Tribune wrote: "This is a good project. It will give us energy and give us jobs. You want stimulus? This is a $7 billion deal to be done with private-sector funding."
Tuesday night Rep. Gerlach's office released the following statement in response to the President's State of the Union Address.
“The President talked about a blueprint for our economy but he seems intent on pursuing an agenda that threatens to take a wrecking ball to a sputtering recovery.
Giving unaccountable agencies in Washington greater power, making people send more of their paychecks to the Internal Revenue Service on April 15th and allowing politicians to pick winners and losers in our economy will not help the 13 million Americans, many of them our friends, family members and neighbors who desperately want to work, find jobs.
House Republicans have worked extremely hard during the past year to send common-sense legislation to the President’s desk. We have passed 27 pro-jobs bills that are stalled in the U.S. Senate. We voted to give workers a full year of additional relief from the payroll tax and prevent a cut to the Medicare reimbursement rates that would make it more difficult for doctors to care for seniors.
“I truly wish the President were sincere about forcing Washington to live by the same rules as the rest of America. But during the past three years, it has been extremely disappointing that his rhetoric has not matched his actions. In fact, one of the biggest concerns I hear from businesses of all sizes is that they are uncertain about whether Washington will change the rules on them by raising their taxes, imposing arbitrary and expensive new mandates or ignoring the need to get serious about erasing a $15 trillion national debt that has grown larger than the size of our entire economy.
My colleagues in the House will continue listening to taxpayers fed up with out-of-control Washington spending, seniors concerned that Medicare will not be there when their grandchildren need it and workers and business owners who know first-hand the proven policies needed to put Americans back to work and get our economy growing again.”