The congresswoman who intends to represent the San Gorgonio Pass blasted President Barack Obama's decision on Wednesday to deny an application to build the transcontinental Keystone XL Pipeline that would transport oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Palm Springs, currently represents the 45th Congressional District, which does not include the Pass.
In November, she will seek re-election in the newly-formed 36th Congressional District, which includes Whitewater, Cabazon, Banning, Beaumont, Cherry Valley and Calimesa.
The Keystone XL Pipeline is a proposed $7 billion, nearly 1,700-mile, 36-inch crude oil pipeline that would stretch from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast.
Obama denied the pending application for construction of the pipeline Wednesday, stating in part:
"As the State Department made clear last month, the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by 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.
"As a result, the Secretary of State has recommended that the application be denied. And after reviewing the State Department’s report, I agree."
Bono Mack joined a chorus of Republican presidential candidates and conservative legislators in criticizing Obama's decision.
"This is a serious blow to our fragile economy and a thumb in the eye to American workers," Bono Mack said in a statement. "This much-needed project would create tens of thousands of new jobs and help to reduce our nation’s dangerous dependence on foreign oil.
"The President needs to rethink this decision before it’s too late, because it will only lead to higher unemployment and higher gasoline prices in the future," Bono Mack said. "This is not the kind of energy plan Americans want or deserve."
Bono Mack also cited national security concerns in her criticism of Obama's decision.
"With the looming threat of Iran blocking the Strait of Hormuz – the transport point of one-thirds of the world's waterborne oil – we should be encouraging an 'all-of-the-above' approach to domestic energy production, including construction of this $7 billion privately-funded pipeline," Bono Mack said.
"Instead, President Obama is saying 'no' to Canada – our largest trading partner and closest ally – and 'yes' to extremist regimes which control huge reserves of oil. In a very dangerous world, this is not the message the President of the United States should be sending to dictators everywhere."
Bono Mack is running for an eighth term in November. The only Democrat to announce plans to run against her so far is Raul Ruiz, an emergency physician at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage.
Due to redistricting, both will run in the newly-formed 36th Congressional District, covering central and eastern Riverside County. A pdf copy of the new 36th District is attached to this report.