Last week's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline from the Obama administration brought strong words from Gwinnett politicians on both sides of the aisle.
"Republicans in Congress have no one to blame but themselves for the denial of the Keystone Pipeline application because of the arbitrary and artificial deadlines they imposed on the process," said U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, a Democrat whose district includes part of Gwinnett. "The Keystone Pipeline was never about jobs and energy independence -- it was about taking the dirtiest oil on earth through a pipeline to the Gulf Coast and shipping that oil abroad. I'm glad President Obama stood up for the American people, the environment, clean air and for the health and well-being of the people and wildlife living near the pipeline."
U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, on the other hand, said the decision cost the country jobs.
"Republicans have passed bill after bill to achieve energy independence and create American jobs, but so far, Senate Democrats have refused to act and this president has done nothing to help," the Lawrenceville congressman said. "The millions of American citizens he has hurt with this decision will make a decision of their own next November. The president has clearly forgotten whom he serves as he does the bidding of radical environmental lobbyists rather than serving Americans seeking jobs and lower energy costs. ... (The) decision suggests to me that the president is putting politics above policy, and that sadly this is a pattern that he seems likely to continue for the whole of 2012. When he chooses politics over people, America loses."
U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson wrote Obama a letter, along with fellow senators, to try to convince President Obama to change his mind.
"Since there is no apparent environmental or security reason to halt approval of this permit, I would hope that the politics of the 2012 election played no role in your decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline permit," the letter said. "Now more than ever is the time we should be developing and exploring all of America's energy resources, ensuring America's energy security, creating jobs for the American people, and stimulating the American economy."
Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.
Camie Young can be reached via email at email@example.com.
For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/politics.