George W. Bush

George W. Bush on the Keystone XL Pipeline: "Build the damn thing"

The former president backs the controversial pipeline, says building it is a "no-brainer"


Elias Isquith
November 19, 2013 1:55AM (UTC)

When it comes to the Keystone XL Pipeline, former President George W. Bush has some advice for his successor: "Build the damn thing."

"If private sector growth is the goal and Keystone pipeline creates 20,000 new private sector jobs, build the damn thing," Bush recently said to a crowd of roughly 2,500 at the shale gas industry's DUG East conference in Pittsburgh.

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"I think the goal of the country ought to be 'how do we grow the private sector?'" Bush said. "That ought to be the laser-focus of any administration. And therefore, once that’s the goal, an issue like Keystone pipeline becomes a no-brainer."

Bush went on to explain his support for the oil and gas industry as a byproduct of his upbringing. "I think it’s mostly because I’m from Midland, Texas," Bush said. "We don’t like government, we don’t like Wall Street, we don’t like much — we like oil and gas."

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The Keystone XL pipeline would transport 800,000 barrels of oil per day from Alberta, across the U.S.-Canada border and south to Gulf Coast refineries. But it first requires State Department approval, which the Obama administration has continually put off. A State Department decision is unlikely before 2014.

Environmentalists contend that the pipeline would have enormous impacts -- from increases in greenhouse gas emissions to the threat of oil spills.

Those concerns haven't tempered the enthusiasm of many, though, including the former president.


Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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Dug East Conference George W. Bush Keystone Pipeline Keystone Xl Pipeline Texas The Huffington Post

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