US Senator John Thune’s Weekly Column: Day One Layoffs

Day One Layoffs
By Sen. John Thune

As we begin a new Congress with a Democrat-led House of Representatives, a Democrat in the White House, and a 50-50 split in the Senate, I’m sure there will be plenty of policy disagreements ahead. But I am also hopeful that we will find ways to work together across the aisle to address the challenges facing Americans. I was heartened to hear President Biden talking about unity during his inauguration and pledging to be a president for all Americans. That’s why I was disappointed to see that one of his first actions as president was to yield to demands from the far-left wing of his party and sign an executive order canceling the Keystone XL pipeline – a project that was not just shovel-ready, but was well underway, and well on its way to providing good-paying jobs for thousands of Americans.

The Keystone XL project has already created 2,000 new jobs, and is estimated to support approximately 11,000 jobs over the course of its construction. Somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 of these jobs are expected to be in South Dakota.  Missing out on these jobs and hundreds of millions in wages would be unfortunate at any time, but it’s particularly devastating given the many jobs that have already been lost during this pandemic.

And the Keystone pipeline’s benefits aren’t limited to good-paying jobs. The pipeline is expected to garner $100 million in property taxes annually along the route. These revenues, as well as the economic impact of easement payments, could be reinvested in our schools, rural communities, and local infrastructure.

The Biden administration is determined to transition away from oil and gasoline, but that is not something that can be done overnight. And the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline can actually move us toward a clean-energy future by allowing us to cut emissions in a sensible way. Modern pipelines provide a cleaner and safer way to transport oil, with the added benefit of alleviating rail traffic to free up capacity for our farmers.

It’s not just that the pipeline itself would be a cleaner upgrade to our energy infrastructure. Rather, it would be paired with $1.7 billion in renewable energy pledged to fully offset its operations. TC Energy, the pipeline’s operator, adapted its original plans to address environmental and social concerns raised when the pipeline was first reviewed by the Obama administration. The 1.6 gigawatts of renewable energy would rank TC Energy among the highest corporate backers of renewable energy purchases, directly supporting President Biden’s plan to bolster green-energy investments in the United States.

Due to these added investments, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – a staunch liberal – is supportive of the Keystone XL pipeline and even included it in Canada’s clean energy roadmap. And the pipeline has the additional benefit of deepening our economic ties to Canada, one of our most important trading partners.

I have no illusions about how some feel about pipelines, but cancelling this project ignores the reality of our nation’s energy demands and denies a timely conversation about infrastructure modernization. Keystone XL has been through multiple exhaustive environmental reviews, and the pledged renewable investments make it a model for environmentally responsible oil transport. Still, the extreme environmental wing of the Democrat Party has chosen to demand the elimination of Keystone XL as a symbol of Democrats’ commitment to the far left’s environmental agenda – no matter how many jobs are lost in the process. I’m disappointed that President Biden went along with their demands at the expense of hardworking Americans, and I will continue to press for affordable energy solutions, American jobs, and modern infrastructure.

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16 thoughts on “US Senator John Thune’s Weekly Column: Day One Layoffs”

  1. It’s a shame we didn’t have a united Republican front protect an election we all know was stolen.

    When it comes to protecting our elections in 2020 – maybe your #1 job – we failed.

    1. We don’t all know the election was stolen. President Biden was a terrible candidate, but Donald Trump may have been even worse, and there’s abundant evidence that more people voted for Biden in the states he won.

  2. “That’s why I was disappointed to see that one of his first actions as president was to yield to demands from the far-left wing of his party and sign an executive order canceling the Keystone XL pipeline – a project that was not just shovel-ready, but was well underway, and well on its way to providing good-paying jobs for thousands of Americans.”

    Wull gooooooollllleeeee! I just never wudda figurd that’s whut he was gunna doooo!

    Good God! Where have your been for the last 6 months? Him and Kamala said that was what they were going to do on the first day…..and this surprised you?

    Now tell us Mr. Thune……what are the three DC representatives from SD going to do to prevent Biden from acting upon the rest of the left-wing travesties that are planned…..you know the rest of the plans they have been telling us they are going to do for the last 6 months but you apparently didn’t feel the need to pay attention?

        1. The suggestion that Senator Thune acted surprised is deceitful, and pointing out that deceit makes discussion of the issue so much better.

          1. For months, Biden stated this was what he was going to do if elected. And the following is a copy/paste from the article above. In Senator Thune’s words:

            “I was heartened to hear President Biden talking about unity during his inauguration and pledging to be a president for all Americans. That’s why I was disappointed to see that one of his first actions as president was to yield to demands from the far-left wing of his party and sign an executive order canceling the Keystone XL pipeline”

            In his own words his disappointment conveys a bit of a surprise from what he was hoping.

  3. Senator Thune, I as one of your lowly constituents, should not have to say I told you so. You heard Biden during his campaign, when he deigned to speak, say exactly that. And yet you did not stand up and oppose this fraudulent election, and you never defended the hundreds of thousands of people peacefully attending the DC rally. Your lack of action speak much more than your words offered when it is too late.

      1. I would echo you statement back to you. If you actually believe this election was fair I have some land to sell you. I have personally watched the videos of suitcase upon suitcase be pulled from under a table at night after everyone was gone and begin counting ballets. I watched video of another woman run thousand of the SAME ballots through machines over and over. The list goes on and on. Now I am sure you will point to all the court cases rejected and they were rejected on standing not merit of the cases so the evidence has not been heard. Now what you are GOING to see if this is not brought to light is Democrats will just keep winning with fraudulent votes. FYI there were several people arrested finally with voter fraud and one Project Vertias uncovered in Texas so yes voter fraud is real and its huge problem along with the outright theft. Pull your head out of your rear end

        1. OK please post a link to the ‘suitcase videos’ and the ‘woman running ballots over and over’ videos you watched so we can fact check them…you see when you flaunt these unproven claims and attest that the U.S. Capitol insurrection was justified even when people were killed you need to take responsibility just like Trump should.

  4. Keystone XL was necessary for our national energy concern? Keystone XL would pay $100 million in property taxes and bring thousands of good paying jobs? Wow! Are we all drinking the Canadian Kool-Aid? Firstly, Keystone XL would have done diddly squat to our national energy demands. We are producing oil and natural gas like never before (think fracking) and actually became a global oil exporter once again. You do not become an exporter of oil if your demand at home exceeds supply. Secondly,the pipe wasn’t meant for us. The pipe was going to run down to Galveston and onto boats for foreign delivery. It’s not like it was pulling up to Kens in Groton. Additionally, the pipe was for the benefit of not only a foreign country, but more specifically a foreign company…..a foreign company using eminent domain to bully and cajole South Dakota operators into signing easements. Native Americans love to claim sovereignty as their modus operandi, but on this point, why are we subjecting our farmers, ranchers, and landowners to a second class status…in order to benefit a foreign corporation? No, Senator Thune I know why you are upset…heck Governor Noem’s inauguration parties were paid for by the oil pipeline company….but I disagree that this is bad policy. Even taken from the view of a lifelong wildcatter, the removal of the pipeline from the national stage is a boon for domestic producers. Think domestic..support domestic…protect domestic.

  5. What I would like to know, Senator Thune, is just what you are going to do to make this and the many other actions more difficult for Illegitimate President Biden to accomplish his goals? These EO’s are getting out of hand. I thought the purpose of Congress was to pass laws. Like several presidents before this guy, Congress, meaning you, have allowed EO’s to replace legislation.

  6. While our governor saw what was at stake in the election, and actively campaigned on Trump’s behalf, our senior senator was MIA. Actually, considering that Johnson and Rounds had cakewalks instead of real races, they could have done more to alert the public to the dangers of voting for Biden, too.
    None of those three should be surprised if they don’t see as many friendly faces at their future events.

  7. Mr. Thune you are disappointed that Biden singed the order to shut down Keystone XL? Have you been living under a rock? Biden campaigned that he was going after big oil.

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