This week President Obama stalled a proposed fuel line from Canada to the Gulf Coast – and drew fire for it from much of Tennessee’s Congressional delegation. While Nashville Democrat Jim Cooper has sided with Republicans on the issue before, he isn’t exactly piling on with the attacks.
Environmentalists have said the pipeline would amount to “game over for the planet.” But several Tennessee Republicans in Congress argue it would create jobs – some say tens of thousands. Gallatin Republican Diane Black charged Obama didn’t value those jobs as much as keeping his own in this fall’s election.
Nashville Democrat Jim Cooper doesn’t go that far. He voted along with Republicans to speed up a decision on the pipeline last summer. Now he says the rhetoric has gotten overblown.
“It’s easy to exaggerate job projections. Certainly in construction there would be a lot of jobs created but once the pipeline’s built, they almost run on their own. So I would be worried, especially in election season, about anybody bragging about a whole lot of job creation out of one project.”
Cooper points out Obama didn’t kill the project entirely, so much as put the matter off. Cooper thinks the argument over the pipeline may be moot, if the fuel industry finds a different option.