Obama should OK Keystone pipeline, Tipton says at hearing

When President Barack Obama announced Friday he was cutting red tape on federal construction projects, he was framed by heavy equipment owned by a man who testified Thursday in Congress that presidential delays on the Keystone XL pipeline hurt his company.

Peter Bowe, president of Ellicott Dredges in Baltimore, testified before a subcommittee of the House Small Business Committee chaired by U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., that delays in the permitting of the pipeline from Canada to Texas have hindered his company. Ellicott Dredges provides equipment and labor in the Canadian oil sands.

Bowe urged approval of the pipeline, telling the committee, “For us, it’s all about jobs.”

Obama delayed action last year on the pipeline, saying it needed further review.

“I think it’s incredibly ironic that the president can be standing in front of this company talking about unnecessary red tape and he’s the guy holding the scissors on the red tape that is holding up the Keystone XL Pipeline,” Tipton said on Friday.

Tipton, a supporter of the pipeline, noted that the pipeline garnered support as well from the AFL-CIO, which cited a 13 percent unemployment rate in construction trades nationally.

Environmental organizations have questioned the project, citing concerns about the environmental effects of mining tar sands in Alberta and transporting products from Canada to Texas for refining.

The State Department is studying the project. No decision is expected this year.


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