Hawaii Senators Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono each provided the decisive November 18 Senate vote to reject approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline which fell short of breaking a filibuster 59-41 in the lame-duck Democrat-controlled US Senate. On November 14, Hawaii Reps Colleen Hanabusa and Tulsi Gabbard voted ‘No’ in a futile effort to block passage of the Keystone XL pipeline bill in the Republican controlled US House.
Here is what two union leaders had to say about them, their Party and their votes:
Statement of Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA, On U.S. Senate Vote on the Keystone XL Pipeline
News Release from LIUNA November 18, 2014
Washington, D.C. (November 18, 2014) – Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – made the following statement today on the U.S. Senate vote regarding the Keystone XL Pipeline:
Today’s failure of the U.S. Senate to authorize the Keystone XL Pipeline is a vote against all construction workers, a vote to keep good, middle-class jobs locked out of reach and a vote to continue to rely on nations that hate America for our energy.
As the White House politicized the construction of the pipeline, 41 Senate Democrats cowardly stepped in line, throwing one of their own colleagues, Sen. Mary Landrieu, along with hard working blue-collar construction workers under the bus.
That Democrats would block the pipeline’s approval in spite of the fact that repeated environmental impact statements have all concluded that the Keystone XL will have no appreciable impact on greenhouse gas emissions, leaves us disillusioned, disgusted and exasperated with the current majority party and it leaves no doubt as to why they will soon be the minority party. Continued pandering to environmental extremists, who want to hamper the American economy and destroy jobs is a recipe for continued election losses.
The majority of Democrats in the Senate and the White House just don’t get it, even though the recent election results surely should have sunk in by now. They have lost their way, their purpose and their base.
Americans want action, they want jobs and they want leadership. Today’s Senate vote demonstrated none of the above. To be relevant with the working class, Democratic leaders in Washington should put job creation and the livelihoods of working men and women ahead of the ravings of environmental wing-nuts and their deep pocketed billionaire funders. They should get out and meet the men and women who need real jobs and stop putting politics before people. If they cannot cast a vote for us, we cannot, and will not, cast a vote for them.
LIUNA applauds Senator Landrieu and her colleagues who have stood up for this project and our members. The men and women of our union appreciate their support.
* * * * *
Senate Fail: Keystone XL Remains Stuck in Washington Gridlock
News Release from IUOE November 18, 2014
WASHINGTON, DC -- The following statement was issued today by James T. Callahan, General President of the International Union of Operating Engineers, after the Senate failed to support legislation authorizing the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline:
“Tonight, we have once again witnessed partisan warfare in Washington thwart the will of the people. By failing to pass the Keystone XL pipeline bill, lawmakers made clear that they are more concerned about covering their own political backsides, and that of the President, than getting things done on behalf of working people in this country.
Many of the same politicians that promoted job creation and increasing wages just weeks ago in their campaigns, today voted to deny thousands of highly-skilled, under-employed construction workers a chance to earn a real paycheck while building a critical piece of our energy infrastructure.
Thousands of skilled construction jobs—jobs that feed families, pay mortgages, send kids to college—were on the line today. Those in Congress and the Administration who dismiss these jobs as temporary and somehow irrelevant, do so at their own political peril. The Operating Engineers will continue to support energy and transportation infrastructure like Keystone because the projects and the jobs they create are vitally important to the future of our country.”
The International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) is a progressive, diversified trade union that primarily represents operating engineers, who work as heavy equipment operators, mechanics, and surveyors in the construction industry, and stationary engineers, who work in operations and maintenance in building and industrial complexes, as well as a number of job classifications in the petrochemical industry.
BONUS: Meet the California Oilman behind Brian Schatz