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August 1st, 2013

Kajtazovic on Keystone Pipeline: I Don’t Know

Although it has remained in the news headlines for more than three years and is a nationwide, hot-button political issue, Democrat congressional candidate Anesa Kajtazovic says she doesn’t know enough about the Keystone XL pipeline to take a side on it.

Kajtazovic, a state representative from Waterloo, is in the midst of a listening tour to weigh her chances in the race for Iowa’s First Congressional District seat. Meeting with tiny groups of voters throughout the district, Kajtazovic is attempting the Hillary Clinton/Christie Vilsack strategy of campaigning without revealing her actual stances.

Rep. Kajtazovic began her listening tour in Marshalltown two and a half weeks ago, visiting with a total of six voters during the two-hour session. One attendee, a college student, asked if she would support the Keystone XL pipeline coming into the United States. Kajtazovic offered no opinion.

“That’s something, I would probably have to have a lot of research because just depends on the policy type, you know, what’s in the bill,” she replied. “That’s something, you know, I would also research at the state level before I supported a policy when it came to nuclear energy.  You would have to make sure it’s the right policy, you know, before you, you know, make a commitment.”

Kajtazovic added that she wanted to see if the pipeline would help make America more energy independent and grow jobs. She did not mention any environmental concerns, which is President Obama and the left’s reasoning for opposing the pipeline.

The U.S. state department’s most recent environmental impact study regarding the pipeline, released on March 1, stated the project would create more than 42,000 jobs. The study also found no environmental reasons for not building the pipeline.

This week, President Obama, who is becoming increasingly beholden to the environmental lobby, disputed the findings of his own state department regarding Keystone’s economic impact.

“The most realistic estimates are this might create maybe 2,000 jobs during the construction of the pipeline…and then after that we’re talking about somewhere between 50 and 100 jobs. That’s not a jobs plan,” the president said.

According to Politifact, those statements by the president are false.

The pipeline would transport 800,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada’s tar sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast. The Canadian oil would be developed whether the pipeline is built or not. Completing the pipeline in the U.S. would insure the United States receives the oil. Otherwise, China will be the beneficiary.

President Obama initially denied a permit for Keystone in January 2012, citing concerns that it might pose an ecological effect on Sand Hills region in Nebraska. TransCanada then submitted a new place, with a revised route from the Canadian border to connect to a pipeline in Steele City, Nebraska. That is less than two hours from the Iowa border.

The U.S. House of Representatives, which Kajtazovic is considering running for, has repeatedly passed bills supporting the pipeline. However, Anesa Kajtazovic’s refusal, or inability, to take a stand on the Keystone issue is not unusual for an Iowa Democrat official. In fact, it is right in line with them.

Congressman Bruce Braley, who holds the seat Kajtazovic is eyeing and is running for the U.S. Senate, voted in favor of building the pipeline in April. One month later, he flip-flopped and voted against it. Not to be outdone in the flip-flop department, Congressman Dave Loebsack has also expressed his support for Keystone in the past, but voted against the bill in May.

Anesa Kajtazovic is one of four Democrats eyeing the First Congressional District seat. The others are Rep. Pat Murphy, former state Sen. Swati Dandekar and Cedar Rapids councilwoman Monica Vernon. Kajtazovic, 26, is the youngest of the group, by far.

Liberal blogger John Deeth, who is seemingly obsessed with electing a woman to Congress, has been actively promoting Kajtazovic’s candidacy. However, two of the prominent Marshall County Democrats who met with Kajtazovic earlier this month expressed concerns to regarding her youth and inexperience.

You can view Kajtazovic’s complete comments regarding Keystone XL below:

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About the Author

Kevin Hall
Kevin Hall brings almost two decades of journalistic experience to TheIowaRepublican. Starting in college as a radio broadcaster, Hall eventually became a television anchor/reporter for stations in North Carolina, Missouri, and Iowa. During the 2007 caucus cycle, Hall changed careers and joined the political realm. He was the northwest Iowa field director for Fred Thompson's presidential campaign. Hall helped Terry Branstad return to the governor's office by organizing southwest Iowa for Branstad's 2010 campaign. Hall serves as a reporter/columnist for

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