The first tangible signs of a moratorium on the Keystone XL oil pipeline project affecting Arkansas jobs has surfaced.
Indian pipeline maker, Welspun Tube, which has a major North American production plant at the Little Rock Port Authority, says it will lay off 60 temporary workers due to the project’s delay.
The Keystone XL pipeline project, which would run from Canada to Texas, was put on hold by the Obama administration after environmental objections were raised by a bipartisan group of Nebraska elected officials.
Hubert Tate with our content partner, Fox 16 News, reports:
“We had to make a staffing reduction with some of the temporary employees. Due to the KXL [Keystone] pipeline not being shipped out. We have 500 miles of pipe just sitting in the yard, expected to be shipped out, that some of the employees were working on,” said Welspun President Dave Delie.
But there is another problem employees face. Managers say they will soon shut down a portion of the site because there is no work. The problem will last three weeks, beginning the week before Christmas and leaving 200 hundred workers with no income.
Delie says there is a problem with a steel shipment from overseas. Therefore, there are no materials to work.
“There were some weather delays and the vessel that was loading the steel got delayed and delayed the steel several weeks. So unfortunately that means the steel didn’t get here on time,” said Delie.
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Congressional Republicans, including Arkansas Second District Rep. Tim Griffin (R), have been sharply critical of the administration’s decision to put the $7 billion pipeline project on hold, as previously reported.