Local politicians weigh in on State of the UnionPublished 10:11pm Wednesday, January 25, 2012
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton criticized President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address for not mentioning the Keystone XL
pipeline project or the Solyndra bankruptcy investigation in a statement Tuesday night.
“He said a lot about energy at a time when the American people recognize the jobs and security that come with energy development,” Upton said, “but he stayed silent on two of the most significant energy issues facing our nation today: the Keystone XL pipeline he rejected and the failed government gamble on Solyndra. The silence speaks volumes about contrasting policy visions.”
Upton, R-St. Joseph, has supported the Keystone pipeline project from the start. The proposed 1,700-mile extension of an existing pipeline linking Canada and the United States would carry 1.4 million barrels of oil each day to refineries in the U.S., Upton says.
The congressman, as chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, also helped spearhead the investigation into the bankrupt Solyndra solar panel company.
“Less than 60 days after taking office, President Obama’s administration gave conditional approval to a $535 million taxpayer-backed loan guarantee to Solyndra over the objections of his own
administration experts,” Upton said. “Just over two years later, the company declared bankruptcy, and more than 1,000 Americans lost their jobs.”
Upton also blasted Obama for his economic policies that “fall far short of our nation’s potential.”
“President Obama’s Jobs Council offered serious policy principles to help ease economic uncertainty and spur job creation, and Republicans have voted over and over again to put those principles in to action,” Upton said. “That’s the path to an America built to last.”
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., meanwhile, applauded the president’s “emphasis on economic fairness.”
“We need to end an era in which middle class families shoulder the cost of tax loopholes that favor the most powerful and privileged among us,” Levin said in a statement Tuesday.
Levin also appreciated Obama’s focus on American manufacturing, which Levin said is already “paying off in Michigan.”