President Joe Biden angered Canada with his hasty, Day-one decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline, but we can imagine a world in which annoying our neighbors to the north is not among the president’s chief concerns. On the other hand, Biden has also sent waves of outrage throughout his own supporters, many of them labor unions who saw the pipeline for the job-producing project that it was. We’re sure Biden can easily patch things up with Justin Trudeau; making nice with these unions could be a different story.
The day after Biden canceled the pipeline, TC Energy announced that they would have no choice but to slash more than 11,000 jobs – quite the accomplishment for a president who had been in office less than a day when he signed the order. Add that together with the jobs lost due to halting the border wall, and it’s clear that Biden’s priorities do not include getting people back to work.
In his executive order, Biden explained: “The Keystone XL pipeline disserves the U.S. national interest. The United States and the world face a climate crisis. That crisis must be met with action on a scale and at a speed commensurate with the need to avoid setting the world on a dangerous, potentially catastrophic, climate trajectory. Leaving the Keystone XL pipeline permit in place would not be consistent with my Administration’s economic and climate imperatives.”
The move drew quick reactions from labor unions that had endorsed Biden for president, including the Laborers’ International Union of North America, which wrote of the Biden/Harris ticket in September, “Joe Biden is one of us; he knows, first hand, the trials and tribulations faced by working men and women across this country.”
Last week, however, the union tweeted, “Pipeline construction has been a lifeline for many #LIUNA members across the country. The anticipated decision to cancel the #KeysonePipeline will kill thousands of good-paying #UNION jobs!”
It was the same story from the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters. They endorsed Biden last August, but last week their president, Mark McManus, wrote, “In revoking this permit, the Biden Administration has chosen to listen to the voices of fringe activists instead of union members and the American consumer on Day 1. Let me be very clear: When built with union labor by the men and women of the United Association, pipelines like Keystone XL remain the safest and most efficient modes of energy transportation in the world. Sadly, the Biden Administration has now put thousands of union workers out of work. For the average American family, it means energy costs will go up and communities will no longer see the local investments that come with pipeline construction.”
When liberal idealism meets reality, the results are often not pretty.
Somehow, though, none of these people ever seem to learn a lesson.