Issues of the Day

October 6, 2011

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the Renewable Fuels Association, Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

The sun keeps shining and the combines keep moving, although these corn yields are not as exciting as we had hoped.

President Obama’s words keep echoing in my ears – “Pass this jobs bill right now.” That’s not going to happen. Even the Democrats in the Senate are against it. Harry Reid won’t even bring it up for a vote.

Three free trade agreements that have been sitting on the President’s desk for years have been sent to the Congress for a vote. If approved, they can mean billions of dollars in exports and thousands of new jobs. I wasn’t sure we would ever see them sent up for a vote. “Thank you Mr. President.”

We don’t have any good intelligence on whether the “Special Committee” working on a deficit reduction plan is making any real progress. Their reporting date is just before Thanksgiving. With the election only a little more than a year away, politics dominates everything in this town. It will be a miracle if they can get anything done.

I know it’s not on everybody’s radar screen, but we have a chance to improve our energy security by a wide margin. One obvious thing we can do is drill for more of our own oil. “Drill baby drill.” But an even easier decision would be to get more oil from Canada. Canada is our number one supplier now, not Saudi Arabia. Not Venezuela. Our number one supplier is our friend and next door neighbor. The third largest petroleum reserve in the world is right next door. All we have to do is approve the Keystone XL pipeline to bring oil from Alberta, Canada to us. Our State Department says there would be “no significant negative environmental impact from the pipeline.” It could mean 13,000 new American jobs and 100,000 added jobs during construction.

Is it any surprise – environmentalists are fighting against the pipeline. Reports say there have been Hollywood celebrities running to the White House trying to stop the pipeline. If approved, the line will run from Alberta, Canada to Texas, cutting across 7 states.

The fact is, the Keystone XL oil sands project will be developed. The only question is – who will get the oil?

Come on, Mr. President. We need oil. We need jobs. Pull the trigger.

In closing, I would encourage you to access my website which archives my radio commentaries dating back 10 years and will go back 20 years when complete. Check on what I said back then. Go to http://www.johnblockreports.com

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Until next week, I am John Block in Washington.