Tom Marino

Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa. 10) said he did not understand why the Keystone XL pipeline, which would supplement an existing crude oil pipeline from Canada to the United States, was still under a presidential veto threat despite Congressional support.

LEWISBURG — Improved energy infrastructure could allow the United States to be energy independent in five years. So said Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa. 10) at a “Coffee and Conversation” appearance Monday in the Lewisburg area.

Marino also claimed the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transfer petroleum from Canada to the United States yet remains under a presidential veto threat, would create tens of thousands of jobs immediately and many more long term.

However, when asked whether an operational pipeline could reduce the demand for rail tank cars manufactured in the district by supplanting some transport of crude by rail, Marino said the challenge faced by the manufacturer only served to demonstrate the need for approval of the pipeline.

“It is the quintessential reason why this legislation has to be passed,” said Marino, who then outlined support the pipeline received in the Senate among Democrats. “Don’t forget there were six Democrat senators who voted for this to put it over the 60 votes...I think we ended up with a total of 62 votes, six Democrats and 54 Republicans, but the president still said he is going to veto this.”

Marino theorized the president’s position indicated a bias against fossil fuel use.

“That would be understandable if we had alternative sources that we could afford,” he added. “We can’t afford solar; we are subsidizing wind.”

Marino endorsed developing and using multiple sources of energy for consumer and industrial use, including alternative sources, but only with research and development by reputable companies.

“Let’s see if we can get the price of wind-generated electricity down through research and development,” he added.

The session was sparsely attended but criticism of the Common Core education initiative found its way into the topics discussed. One audience member called its experimental teaching methods a facade, and a way that President Barack Obama would be able to falsify academic achievement and create a system which would promote ideas not in line with cultural norms. Marino replied that the federal Department of Education, having grown 10 times the size it was when founded, should be abolished.

Marino repeatedly called for fiscal responsibility at the federal level, term limits and reduction of deficit spending.

Josette Zielinski of Elysburg, whose son Joseph died stateside more than six years ago after being injured in Iraq, acknowledged that Marino’s office had helped initiate an investigation. But she has been troubled by missing documents.

Marino had presented medals earned by her late son to Zielinski in 2011.

Staff Writer Matt Farrand can be reached at 570-742-9671 and via email at

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