SWANTON, Ohio – Mitt Romney’s administration on Day One would approve a pipeline that would run from Canada to U.S. refineries in Texas, creating thousands of jobs and pushing America on its way to energy independence, Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan said Monday.
Ryan told supporters during his third trip to swing state Ohio in the last two weeks that there are enough energy resources for North America to become energy independent within eight years.
“We need to unlock the energy we have in this country to create jobs,” he said.
Ryan blamed President Barack Obama for standing in the way of the Keystone XL pipeline and pushing too many environmental regulations that have cost jobs in the coal industry — a thorny issue for the president in southeast Ohio, where coal has a large footprint.
Obama earlier this year objected to the pipeline’s proposed route over environmental concerns, suggesting that Calgary-based TransCanada Corp.’s (TSX:TRP) pipeline should go around a sensitive aquifer in Nebraska.
Obama encouraged the company to pursue a shorter project from Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast.
But Ryan said Monday that approving the pipeline in its entirety would get people back to work in construction and factories.
“Think of the jobs right there,” he said.
The Wisconsin congressman said coming up with new energy sources and improving job training programs will go a long way in helping Ohio and other industrial states that have lost jobs over the last four years.
Late last year, the U.S. State Department, which has final say over the Keystone XL pipeline because it crosses an international border, demanded TransCanada work out a new route through Nebraska to address the ecological concerns over the Sandhills and the Ogallala aquifer.
Republican politicians annoyed with the delay sought to speed up the process through various legislative manoeuvres, prompting the Obama administration to reject the US$7.6-billion Alberta-to-Texas pipeline in its entirety in February.
The State Department stressed that the rejection was due to the fact that it would not have had enough time to properly weigh the new Nebraska route, not because of the merits of the pipeline itself.
It left the door open for TransCanada to apply for a new permit, which it did in May.
In early September, TransCanada then filed its new Nebraska route in a supplemental environmental report to Nebraska’s department of environmental quality.