Ithaca, N.Y. — The Ithaca area’s Congressman is criticizing President Barack Obama for vetoing a bill that would have approved the Keystone XL pipeline.

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The pipeline has been embraced by Republicans who see it as a way to create jobs and opposed by environmentalists who say it will exacerbate rapidly increasing carbon emissions. (Some on the center-left say the pipeline debate has earned an outsize role in our fight over climate change.)

Rep. Tom Reed, who was reelected this fall to represent New York’s 23rd District in Congress, supports the pipeline. (The 23rd District includes Ithaca.)

In a statement released Wednesday, Reed criticized Obama for not approving the pipeline — and threw in some colorful comparisons for good measure.

“It has been 2,340 days since the administration began their environmental review,” he said.

“In the meantime Apple has developed and released five new iPhones, Lebron James has gone from Cleveland to win two championships in Miami then returned to Cleveland, and the San Francisco Giants have won the World Series three times.”

Here’s the rest of Reed’s statement:

A majority of Americans and a bipartisan majority of Congress agreed that the Keystone pipeline will create jobs and improve our energy security. It is disappointing yet predictable that President Obama has again put his extreme liberal agenda ahead of good policy.

The administration says that Congress rushed their decision passing legislation to approve the pipeline. What we do know is that the Keystone pipeline would create more than 40,000 jobs and contribute to our energy security. After six years it is time to make a decision.

As always, actions speak louder than words, and despite rhetoric from President Obama on bipartisanship and compromise his actions show that the liberal special interests of environmental extremists are his priority not creating jobs or protecting our energy security.

For a counterpoint on the pipeline, here’s the Natural Resources Defense Council:

One of the world’s richest forests stretches across northern Alberta, making the Canadian province home to a vast array of migrating birds, diverse wildlife, and the First Nations people who once thrived on the region’s natural bounty. But in recent decades, mining companies have torn up the land and polluted its waters in a quest to extract tar sands, which yield a heavy crude oil trapped in a mixture of sand and clay.

The fuel is dirty; the extraction and refining process is even dirtier. It’s so energy-intensive, in fact, that tar sands oil is barely economical to bring to market.

That’s why the industry is so desperate to build Keystone XL. The proposed $7 billion tar sands oil pipeline would run 2,000 miles across the American heartland, crossing the country’s largest freshwater aquifer to reach the Texas Gulf Coast. There, refineries would process a projected 830,000 barrels of dirty crude daily, most of them bound for overseas markets, with negligible impact on U.S. energy independence or gas prices.


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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.