Friday, September 06, 2013

Eastern terminus will be in Illinois: Where does Durbin stand on Keystone pipeline?

The Labor Department released another anemic monthly job report this morning.

Illinois has the nation's second-highest unemployment rate.

But there is a project that will create thousands of jobs--perhaps tens-of-thousands--that President Obama is dithering on: the Keystone XL pipeline.   It will bring millions of barrels of oil a year to the United States from our ally Canada.

And do we ever need oil. The prices of gasoline where in the Chicago area has been hovering around $4-per-gallon for over two years. And if the Egyptian crisis closes the Suez canal, gasoline prices will soar.

Here is where Illinois figures in: The eastern terminus of the proposed pipeline will be tiny Patoka in southern Illinois. Patoka is in Marion County--where the unemployment rate is 11.2 percent. The refinery in Wood River, Illinois--which is near St. Louis--will refine some Keystone XL petroleum.

Illinois' senior senator is downstate native Dick Durbin. As with his position on abortion early in his career--he's against it now--Durbin has been largely quiet about the Keystone XL pipeline, even though the benefits to the Land of Lincoln are obvious.

Part of the reason Durbin--who almost slavishly follows Harry Reid's liberal party line in the Senate as assistant majority leader--has been mostly mum about Keystone is that his nephew, Marty Durbin, was until recently was a lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute, which favors the pipeline.

Now that Marty's gone, Dick, where do you stand on Keystone XL? It will mean more jobs in Illinois and almost certainly provide a check on higher gas prices.

Durbin: Don't be like Obama--don't dither. And I view a "more research is needed" position as a 'no' vote.

So what's it gonna be?

Related post:

Five questions for Dick Durbin

(Video) Coward: Obama's Labor secretary ducks question on Keystone after flat jobs report

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