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Leslie Rutledge: Fighting President Biden’s Overreach

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Published: May 2, 2021
Fighting President Biden’s overreach

LITTLE ROCK – Throughout his 2020 election campaign, President Joe Biden traveled across the country under the guise that he was one of us who understood the significance of a hard day’s work and the American dollar. In reality, we know the truth of the matter.

Blue-collar workers were his meal ticket to the White House, and they were the first group Joe Biden turned his back on in a stack of executive orders ready to go on week one.

Those left unemployed by Biden’s January order, after he revoked the multi-billion dollar permit and effectively killed 11,000 American jobs, say that Biden abandoned blue collar workers.

With the stroke of his pen, President Biden revoked the Keystone Pipeline permit, effectively killing an estimated 11,000 American jobs and a multibillion-dollar energy-based project on the hope and a prayer that new green jobs will emerge.

Though the Keystone XL Pipeline does not run through Arkansas, miles of the pipe is made in Arkansas, and you probably can’t walk through a pipeline job site without meeting an Arkansan. Many people like to call Bald Knob the Pipeliner Capital of the World because that’s where so many pipeliners like to call home.

Last month, I stood with Arkansas pipeliners who have been laid off–in some cases, so have their entire families–and they spoke about losing their livelihoods. These aren’t people who want a handout from the government. Arkansas pipeline workers like working hard and bringing home good paychecks to provide for their families. Since President Biden slashed their jobs, they have been looking for a reliable income to pay their bills, and the new green jobs do not exist.

Neal Crabtree of Fouke has over 20 years of experience as a welder, traveling throughout the country working on pipelines and bringing that income back to the Natural State. He was put out of a job the moment President Biden signed that executive order.

As Attorney General of Arkansas, I know it is essential that the Biden administration be held accountable for its actions and change course. I am proud to have filed a lawsuit against President Biden and his administration’s disastrous efforts to dismantle our democracy through empty promises and crippling economic and national security policies.
In addition to the restoration of this practical and necessary Keystone permit, the Biden administration’s over-arching hunger for power has shown blatant disregard for our national security. The moment President Biden abolished the Keystone Pipeline, he created a national security risk by increasing the likelihood of the U.S. again becoming energy-dependent on unreliable foreign nations.

Without seeking congressional approval, this executive order leaves the U.S. vulnerable to future potential energy shortages, as well as the demands and whims of temperamental Middle Eastern governments.

With a sense of entitlement on full display, John Kerry has been flying around in his carbon- emitting jet and has retorted that approximately 11,000 Americans with a skilled trade should just go find a new green job and start building solar panels. These are jobs that don’t exist yet and are a pay cut in comparison to working on the Keystone XL Pipeline.

The Arkansans I met with last month said they looked for the green jobs the Democrats are promising, but there’s nothing to be found.

When is President Biden going to provide these Arkansans jobs as promised?

The suggestion that these workers, the backbone of this nation, can just up and find new green jobs is not just disrespectful, but also demoralizing to strip hard-working Americans of their livelihood with the empty promise of ‘green jobs’ that do not currently exist. Evidently, the Biden administration does not understand the values that dictate how Arkansans choose to live our lives.

The pipeline offers many Arkansans a means of employment, health care, and future financial security. Despite this fact, the Biden administration cites that social costs to the environment outweigh social costs to tax-paying citizens.

After witnessing the horrible injustices of this administration, it is my duty to my fellow Arkansans to challenge President Biden’s order regarding the pipeline and the damaging effects it will cause our nation and its citizens. I urge this administration to try to understand the social consequences of unemployment on a family, as well as sympathize with those who are affected, by restoring the permit.

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