This is somewhat noteworthy, as prior to this the AFL-CIO had no official position on the pipeline, as they needed to delicately balance their loyalty to President Obama and the desires of specific union groups which would have benefited most from the construction of the pipeline:
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is backing construction of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline in comments that downplay divisions among unions in the labor federation over the controversial project.
“I think we are all unanimous by saying we should build the pipeline, but we have to do it consistent with all environmental standards, and I think we can work that out, I really do, and we are for that happening,” Trumka said in the interview that aired Sunday.
The comments could provide a political lift to advocates of the proposed pipeline to bring Canadian oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries, a project that has increasingly been at the center for election-year political battles over energy.
On Friday, TransCanada submitted a new application for the KeystoneXL Pipeline after Obama rejected/delayed/killed the original at the end of 2011. However, since then, support for environmentalists who unilaterally oppose the Keystone pipeline has dropped, as both Congressional Republicans and some Democrats — along with a majority of Americans — support the pipeline.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective), the pipeline issue is unlikely to go away soon (or be built), as Congress is bringing the issue back to the forefront:
Keystone will again be front and center on Capitol Hill in coming days. The pipeline is looming over the official launch next week of House-Senate talks on transportation legislation.
The first formal session of the bicameral panel trying to hash out a final bill arrives Tuesday afternoon.
The House version of the bill approves Keystone, while the Senate’s plan omits the provision.
Keystone advocates on Capitol Hill, backed by an intense lobbying campaign from oil-industry and business groups, will push for the pipeline to make the final cut but face major hurdles.