As we look forward to 2012 we are reminded that the main concern of  most Americans is jobs.  We have all suffered a job loss ourselves or by our friends.  We are all running scared of losing our job and with that the loss of home and aspirations. 

No wonder President Obama has made jobs his main concern, this issue will dominate the election in 2012.  He boldly installed the “Stimulus Bill” of 2009 that was aimed at stopping the major loss of jobs that year.  He also promised to limit unemployment to less than 8%.  Well the “Stimulus Bill” did help keep some employed, many working for state and local governments, extend unemployment benefits including COBRA medical coverage, and start some projects that employed workers.  However, it did not turn the economy around to robust growth nor did it keep unemployment below 8%.

The President has now engaged in a program of criss-crossing the USA to promote jobs.  He points to actions his administration has taken to spur hiring.  He cited the Solyndra project, in which the US Government invested $500 million,  as a shining example of job creation until it went bankrupt, as many predicted would happen before the Feds injected the funds in the fatally flawed enterprise. 

The President calls for new job creation.  But he and his administration are at this moment holding back thousands of new jobs that would come on line immeidately or in short order.  I speak here of the Feds blocking the opening of the new Boeing factory in South Carolina and halting construction of the next phases of the Keystone pipeline complex. 

The Boeing issue is immediate.  The company has a brand new factory already built and ready to open tomorrow with some 4000 new workers already on board ready to go to work.  But the Feds are delaying it because of a move made by the unions representing Boeing workers in Washington, not South Carolina, to stop its opening.  In essence workers are preventing new workers from going to work with the aid of the Feds.

The Keystone pipeline project will employ many more workers in its construction and operation.  The pipeline already brings oil from Canada to the USA making Canada our largest foreign supplier of crude oil.  Expansion of  the pipeline will allow Canada to provide an even higher portion of our imported oil, maybe half our needs. 

In addition to providing more of our oil imports from a reliable, dependable, non-hostile supplier, construction on the new phases of the pipeline could employ up to 20,000 workers.  Not a small consideration.

Opponents of the pipeline expansion claim it will increase US dependence on “dirty” oil, so called because the oil comes from oil sands.  However, crude oil from California is already more dirty than the Canadian oil sands oil.  Opponents say the pipeline will disturb underground water supplies and cause other environmental concerns.  But the Keystone pipeline already crosses eight states for a total of 1650 miles ending in the president’s home state, Illinois.  Moreover there are already 200,000 miles of similar pipelines in the USA.  The expansion of the Keystone pipeline will not cause a dramatic increase in the affect of oil pipelines on the environment in the USA. 

The time for talk is over.  The time for action is here.  The president would be more convincing in his campaign to create more jobs if he would quickly approve these two job creating projects.