Green River Star -

Our View: Focus should be on U.S.


Following up on an earlier threat to veto it, President Barack Obama officially vetoed a bill approving construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline Tuesday.

While many residents are probably fuming at the news, we have to say we agree with Obama’s veto, though not for reasons most would expect.

Yes, studies should be concluded estimating the environmental impact of the project and other considerations before final approval is voted on, but we believe Congress should really focus on bills that promote domestic energy development. Senators and representatives should be pushing bills to help focus energy development in states like Wyoming and North Dakota, providing incentives to keep energy exploration and development.

Republicans have long touted the pipeline’s creation of approximately 42,000 jobs, but what they don’t say is if those jobs are permanent. Promoting energy exploration and development in the U.S., while actively pushing an agenda of energy independence, would provide for more long-term jobs within the energy industry. Long-term jobs are important as they’re the ones that truly feed into local economies. Within Wyoming, those jobs can help support many of the communities in energy producing counties, like Green River.

In fact, federal support for bringing an industrial megacomplex to Wyoming would be a key in doing this. A bill giving some financial support to help Wyoming create a complex could help provide a more meaningful economic impact for Wyoming than the Keystone XL Pipeline would over a 10 or 20-year period.

That, of course, would also face the scrutiny of Obama’s pen and supposing politics muddies the waters even further, a bill supporting energy development within the U.S. could face serious challenges as well. But, support from our Washington delegation -- Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, as well as Representative Cynthia Lummis is what could help move the process along.

In southwest Wyoming, energy and minerals are our main export. While many believe the Keystone XL Pipeline will be a major project to promote energy independence, we believe Congress should look closer at the states its serves for solutions or projects to help create jobs and provide independence from importing oil from other countries. Projects like the often talked about industrial megacomplex people like the Sweetwater County Commissioners want to see established within the region could be the pieces to solve that puzzle.


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