Laid-off Keystone XL pipeline workers in Fouke, Ark., blasted President Biden’s order canceling the project.
“My husband and I, we were both going to be able to have the opportunity to work on the Keystone,” Valerie Knight told Fox News. “That was going to be my first job back as a helper after having our little boy.”
That opportunity was “completely taken away by one signature,” Knight said.
Labor groups have said Biden’s day one decision to nix the Keystone pipeline quickly eliminated 1,000 union jobs and could kill 10 times more in construction jobs that were expected to be created by the project.
In an Aug. 21, 2017, file photo, workers make sure that each section of the Enbridge replacement Line 3 that is joined passes muster in Superior, Wisc. (Richard Tsong-Taatarii /Star Tribune via AP)
Biden has pledged to create new “high-paying union jobs” through investments in green energy infrastructure projects, but Arkansas workers say that switching trades would mean “starting over.”
“My husband has spent many, many hours practicing to become a welder,” Knight said. “To be able to turn around and go into a different job trade completely, we would be starting over.”
The leader of one of the most prominent U.S. labor unions, in a Sunday interview, criticized Biden’s move to derail the Keystone XL pipeline project on his first day in office.
“I wish he hadn’t done that on the first day,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told “Axios on HBO.” “It did and will cost us jobs in the process. I wish he had paired that more carefully with the thing he did second by saying, ‘Here’s where we’re creating jobs.'”
Mindy Seyler, the wife of a laid-off Keystone XL worker, echoed Trumka’s sentiment in an interview with Fox News.
“Our youngest daughter is a junior in high school, and she’s supposed to be going to college too, and I don’t know how I’m going to pay for it,” Seyler said. “I have no idea.”
A pump station worker who had been working on the Keystone XL in Nebraska said he was laid off right after Biden signed the executive order. He told Fox News that “the best stimulus they could do for this country right now is keep people working.”
“It’s hard to make plans when you’ve got an administration that’s trying to crush your future,” he said.
Fox News’ Carley Shimkus and Michael Ruiz and FOX Business’ Thomas Barrabi contributed to this report.