House committee passes Keystone XL pipeline bill

The Keystone XL pipeline would transport tar sands oil from Canada to refineries in the U.S.

Measure could force approval of controversial energy project

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — House Republicans ratcheted up their showdown with President Obama over the Keystone XL pipeline this week, passing a measure that would force the issuance of a permit within 30 days.

Obama previously rejected the pipeline after conservation advocates rallied the public, showing widespread grassroots opposition to the project. The legislation is expected to be incorporated into larger energy and transportation legislation and could see a vote on the House floor next week. An amendment that would have required the oil to remain in the United States, proposed by Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), failed.

Environmental advocates say the pipeline would directly threaten numerous endangered species, increase U.S. dependence on fossil fuels and create a huge risk of oil spills.

Republicans say the pipeline project would create jobs, lower fuel costs and displace less stable energy imports with millions of barrels of safe and secure Canadian oil supplies.

“It is not unprecedented to lay an oil pipeline across America. Many pipelines already crisscross our great country,” said Nebraska Congressman Lee Terry. “Opposition to Keystone demonstrates a lack of knowledge about how energy is moved throughout the U.S., or a desire to gain political points,” said Terry.

“This legislation forcing approval of the Keystone XL pipeline isn’t about jobs or national security,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Instead, it’s about the corrupting influence of money in Congress and the willingness of congressional Republicans to do the bidding of Big Oil. If it’s built, Keystone XL will foul our land, air, and water and put us on a dangerous trajectory toward climate catastrophe.”

The Keystone XL pipeline would transport tar-sands oil from Canada across 1,700 miles, six states and hundreds of water bodies, with the risk of oil spills along every mile. An existing pipeline called Keystone 1 has already leaked 14 times since it started operating in June 2010, including one spill that gushed 21,000 gallons of tar-sands crude.

The extraction and refinement of tar-sands oil produces two to three times more greenhouse gases per barrel than does conventional oil, representing a massive new source of fossil fuels that leading climate scientist Dr. James Hansen has said will call “game over” in our efforts to avoid irreversible global-warming calamity.

Strip mining of oil from Alberta’s tar sands is also destroying tens of thousands of acres of boreal forest and polluting hundreds of millions of gallons of water from the Athabasca River, in the process creating toxic ponds so large they can be seen from space.

“Keystone XL would be an environmental disaster and create few permanent jobs in the process,” Greenwald said. “Instead, much of the oil would be exported, and the United States would be left with oil spills, polluted landscapes and a deeper dependence on fossil fuels.”

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7 Responses

  1. Take the money out of politics, then see how sanity and rationality would rule. Of course, rigorous prosecution of those who took the “legal bribes”, would go a long way in bringing about the changes needed. The chance of this happening is probably like it snowing in Tahiti.

  2. It’s time to get this project approved now. BO will approve it anyway once he is re-elected. The US needs to become energy self-sufficient, and this helps a good deal.

  3. Getting the Keystone pipeline approved must be an effort that the American public needs to seriously consider In its economic recovery strategy. We have heard time and again about the environmental concerns but it seems as though we continually let this trump economic concerns without any sort of a fair balance to be stricken. 20,000 jobs in the here and now is not necessarily a light number and moreover it is exactly the kind of work that the White House had proposed to generate jobs in its American Job Act proposal(http://bit.ly/ytP77z). So why should we flip flop on the issue? The pipeline would be a saving grace for a number of Americans both now and into the future. Let’s explore the possibilities of the project further.

  4. Looks as though they were right. The Oil & Gas industry is pulling out all the stops in a full court press. Disinformation is the forte of the day.

    • Disinformation does indeed rule the day. Like your Noah Greenwold spouting the “global-warming catastrophe” bull-crap, and claiming that 20,000 US jobs, + more in the future is merely “Republicans [doing] the bidding of Big Oil.
      You and Noah do know that data shows the Earth cooling, don’t you?

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