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Douglas Andrews / Feb. 3, 2021

Keystone Was More Than a Pipeline

With the stroke of a pen, Biden and his hard-left handlers wrecked the lives of thousands of our fellow Americans.

First of all, let’s disabuse ourselves of the notion that the Keystone XL pipeline was merely about getting oil from A to B. It wasn’t. Keystone was about opportunities, dreams, jobs, and lives. It was about real people. It was also about the ennobling nature of work, and especially hard work — and all this is why Beltway elitists like Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and John Kerry and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez could so blithely shut it down.

Just the stroke of a pen. That’s all it took.

A brief history: The 1,700-mile Keystone pipeline was first proposed in 2008 during the George W. Bush administration. When completed, it was expected to carry some 800,000 barrels of oil per day from the oil sands of the western Canadian province of Alberta to the Bakken formation spanning eastern Montana and western North Dakota, where it would be mixed with American light crude and then sent southward to our refineries on the Gulf Coast of Texas.

Predictably, the pipeline was rejected by the Obama administration, but the project was revived by President Donald Trump, who clearly understood the wisdom of energy independence — and the wisdom of not sending billions of American dollars every year to countries that hate us.

On his very first day in office, though, ol’ Scranton Joe Biden signed an executive order halting construction of the pipeline by revoking its permit. It was premeditated, and it immediately killed 1,000 real, tangible, rewarding jobs — most of them union jobs. (So much for the Democrats being the party of labor.) It was also part of a wealth-redistribution scheme that The Washington Free Beacon’s Matthew Continetti dubbed the blue-state clawback.

“The alternative energy sector overwhelmingly favors Democrats,” Continetti writes, no doubt remembering the $535 million in taxpayer dollars blown by Barack Obama on the scam known as Solyndra. “Its political investments have paid off. The old-style extractive industries, mainly based in GOP strongholds, will suffer. In some cases they are targeted for extinction. The knock-on effects are serious. ‘Wyoming state superintendent Jillian Balow notes that her state depends on some $150 million a year in oil and gas federal royalties to fund K-12 schools,’ says the Wall Street Journal editorial board.”

But, again, behind the revenues are the people — people like Laurie Cox, for example. She owns the old Stroppel Hotel in Midland, South Dakota, a place that many of these Keystone workers have come to call home. As the Washington Examiner’s Barnini Chakraborty reports, “Over the months, Cox had become somewhat of a den mother to the pipeline workers … staying at her hotel. She made them food, ran errands, and even drove two hours to get them groceries while they were at work. In a few months, they have become family. So it was especially hard that two hours after Biden was sworn in, her ‘family’ was about to be ripped apart. The pipeline workers she affectionately called ‘her guys’ returned to the hotel. Their faces were forlorn, and they had already started wondering where they’d get their next paycheck. ‘I tried to choke back my tears because they were still packing up, and their families still had to be told, and the last thing they needed was an innkeeper sitting here crying on them.’”

Gaylord Lincoln, a semiretired mechanic and a fellow South Dakotan, wasn’t holding back. “Come down here,” he challenged the Biden administration. “See the destruction you caused. See the pain of job loss. You took our chance to have a decent life with a stroke of the pen. It’s all bulls—t in Washington. They are playing with our lives.”

All this makes us wonder what on earth West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin thinks he’s doing as a Democrat. His party used to fight tooth and nail for blue-collar jobs, but now it kills those jobs without thinking twice.

Manchin’s coal-rich state went for Donald Trump by 39 points. And given Kamala Harris’s recent heavy-handed visit, his switchboard back home should be lit up like a Christmas tree.

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