"The extremism that stifles the development of homegrown energy, or cancels a perfectly sane pipeline that would employ tens of thousands, or jacks up consumer utility bills for no improvement in either human health or world temperature, is a pro-poverty policy," Daniels said.
Obama has halted, for now, work on the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from western Canada to Texas' Gulf Coast. Republicans say the project would create thousands of jobs, a claim opponents say is overstated. The administration has also pursued policies aimed at reducing pollution and global warming.
To underscore Obama's decision on Keystone, Boehner invited three officials from companies he said would be hurt by the pipeline's rejection to watch the speech in the House chamber, along with a pro-pipeline legislator from Nebraska, through which the project would pass.
Obama was delivering his address during a rowdy battle for the GOP presidential nomination that has ended up providing ammunition for Obama's theme of fairness.
That fight has called attention to the wealth of one of the top contenders, Romney, and the low — but legal — effective federal income tax rate of around 15 percent that the multimillionaire has paid in the past two years. Romney, in Florida campaigning for that state's Jan. 31 primary, released his tax documents for the two-year period on Tuesday.
"The president's agenda sounds less like 'built to last' and more like doomed to fail," Romney said in Tampa, Fla. "What he's proposing is more of the same: more taxes, more spending, and more regulation."
Romney's chief rival at this point, Gingrich, said in a written statement that the top question about Obama's speech was whether he "will show a willingness to put aside the extremist ideology of the far left and call for a new set of policies that could lead to dramatic private sector job creation and economic growth."
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