Cantor to Obama: ‘Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is’

By Penny Starr | February 6, 2012 | 4:12 PM EST

House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said at a discussion on the U.S. economy and job creation on Feb. 6, 2012 in Washington, D.C. that rejecting the Keystone XL was a mistake because of the jobs the pipeline project would create. ( Starr)

( – President Barack Obama could have put his rhetoric about job creation into action by approving the Keystone Pipeline project, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said on Monday at a forum on the economy and jobs.

“It’s a great jobs project,” Cantor said when asked about the pipeline and its impact on job creation during the event. “It’s something that this administration – the president – have come down on what I believe is the wrong side.

“If you’re for job creation, let’s put your money where your mouth is,” Cantor said. “Job creation really belongs in the private sector as this entire conversation has been about.”

The Keystone XL, a project of TransCanada, would build a 1,700-mile pipeline for transporting oil extracted from tar sands across the United States to the Texas Gulf.

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After Congress imposed a 60-day deadline for a decision to be made on the project, in January, Obama rejected it. Obama said the decision came after “Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment.”

The pipeline project had been under review for three years by the Environmental Protection Agency.

At the event, Cantor cited a McKinsey Global Institute analysis that showed in order for the United States to reach full employment, the U.S. economy needs to create 21 million jobs by 2020.

“It’s a no brainer to go ahead and allow for that project to ensue, from a natural resources standpoint and certainly from an energy cost standpoint and security standpoint and as a jobs issue,” Cantor said.

Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) was also on the panel at the forum, hosted by the center-right think tank Young Guns.

Scott said the pipeline would create more than 20,000 jobs “immediately” and that denying Keystone sends a signal that the United States is not a place that welcomes investment and job creation by allies such as Canada.

“The bottom line is, are we going to be a player or not?” Scott said.