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Letter: Keystone pipeline is no cure for long-lost jobs

Keystone pipeline is no cure for long-lost jobs

One of the first priorities of the new Congress is to go forward with the Keystone pipeline. The Republican Party is dominated by an “If we just get rid of environmental protection, the economy will boom!” agenda. We hear repeated calls to get rid of the Environmental Protection Agency (similar calls were made to get rid of the Centers for Disease Control, but Ebola …). Then there are various incarnations of “Drill, Baby Drill!”

Amazingly, states like Florida have laws that thwart “rooftop solar.” Amazing because this last one is not even ideologically consistent; yes it is anti-environment, but it is also anti-free market.

Think this through. Let’s imagine we get rid of all these environmental protections, rip everything out of the earth and let carcinogenic waste get dumped freely into air and water. What will we gain? Even if you were to see some temporary uptick in growth, since the Reagan era on the profits just keep going to the top. The extremely unpopular and under-reported fact is that the middle class has declined with the decline of the unions. Yes, I know all the bad side of unions, but everybody knows that capitalism is a “you get what you bargained for” system.

So why would you get rid of your bargaining agents? I’ve heard it for years, “I don’t need no union!” OK, fine, stand on your own, but just don’t go leading us on a trip to doomsday in the name of “bringing back good-paying jobs.” It won’t work.

Matt Clabeaux

Amherst