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Building Trades chief unloads on White House policy’s effect on rank-and-file

Sources: North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU), Washington, D.C.; CP staff

In one of the harshest assessments an organized labor official has offered on White House decisions affecting construction employment, NABTU President Sean McGarvey characterized the political nature of President Obama’s Keystone XL pipeline action as “insidiously craven.”

Responding to the formal rejection of an application to build the critical conduit of Alberta crude to Gulf Coast refineries, McGarvey noted in a statement: “Consider that between 2009 and 2013 more than 8,000 miles of oil transmission pipelines have been built across the United States. And by last year, that number increased to 12,000 miles. In other words, we have built the equivalent of 10 Keystone XL pipelines since 2009 and the White House has not uttered one single word about those projects.

“Despite this administration's own findings that the Keystone project will result in the creation of 40,000 jobs as well as significant economic benefits to our country without impacting the environment, President Obama has chosen to place politics over substantive policy that only serves to advance the agenda of well-funded radical environmentalists. All of which begs the question: Where does this leave the Democratic Party's historical core constituency of working Americans? We won't know the answer to that question until November 2016.”