Brooks: Keystone decision cost Indiana jobs
ANDERSON – U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks said the decision by President Barack Obama to block the Keystone Pipeline project cost thousands of jobs in Indiana.
The 5th District congresswoman was in Anderson on Monday to meet with local residents and toured the Hy-Pro Filtration company plant.
She said Hy-Pro Filtration makes a filter system that could be used in the tar sands projects in Canada.
“So I saw a piece of equipment of the type of manufacturing done in Anderson that would benefit from the Keystone Pipeline project,” Brooks said. “It was disappointing because the unions, businesses and energy sector supported the project.”
She said the president made the statement that this is best for climate change issues, but now that type of oil and crude is being transported by heavy trucks and trains.
“The State Department, in the last environmental impact statement, said the impact would be lessened by a pipeline than traveling above ground,” Brooks said.
She believes the Keystone Pipeline will be considered again, but probably not until 2017 after the next presidential election.
“Not only would it have created jobs, but hopefully brought down energy prices for Hoosiers and people across the country,” Brooks said.
Concerning Madison County being turned down a seventh time for a U.S. Department of Transportation TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Grant program to replace the Eisenhower Bridge, Brooks said it was disappointing.
Brooks said there was tough competition for the infrastructure grant funding and that there is a lot of discussion in the House on how members can be more involved in the decisions.
“Speaker (John) Boehner did away with earmarks, so there is the discussion that now we turn over all the money to the executive branch, that chooses how the money is allocated,” she said.
“Should the House be more involved in the process? How do we have more influence over infrastructure projects to get funded,” Brooks said. “We do feel left out. All we can do is make a recommendation.”
Brooks, a member of the House Committee investigating the 2012 attack by Islamic militants on the American embassy in Libya, said the investigation is moving forward.
“The Secretary (Hillary Clinton) was one very important witness; but we have other very important witnesses as well. We’re making arrangements to take statements from former Secretary of Defense (Leon) Panetta and former CIA Director (David) Petraeus.”
Brooks said both of those interviews will be conducted in classified settings because of the nature of the testimony.
“We’re continuing to move forward in the investigation,” she said. “In the meantime we’re still waiting for State Department records and emails. It has been very frustrating.”
The investigation by other committees started in 2012 and 2013, and the administration has had plenty of time to provide the records, Brooks continued.
“We’re interviewing dozens of people that were not interviewed by previous committees, including eyewitnesses on the ground,” Brooks said. “We’re trying to get as many of the facts as we can for the families of the victims.
She said the committee gave Clinton the option of being interviewed in a private setting and she asked for the public hearings.
“People want us to finish our report, make sure it’s a comprehensive and final report with many questions answered,” Brooks said. “We hope the report will be concluded next year, but it’s dependent on the administration’s cooperating with the committee.”