Keystone XL Pipeline Bill Passes House Committee
Higher Oil Prices for Consumers Sought by Industry
After passing through subcommittee last week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved legislation, H.R. 1938, today that forces the Obama administration to make a decision on the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline by November. The committee has passed numerous pro-polluter bills that are unlikely to get traction on the other side of Capitol Hill. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE), whose state is among those on the proposed pipeline’s path, has predicted it will not move in the Senate.
The bill comes as the pipeline builder, TransCanada, was just cited by federal regulators for frequent spills of its existing major U.S. tar sands pipeline known as Keystone I. TransCanada’s own documents say the proposal would cut oil supply to 15 Midwest states. Observers say choking supply would increase gas prices.
Jeremy Symons, NWF senior vice president said:
“The oil companies behind this bill are desperate for Congress and the administration to rush the approval of this pipeline scheme because the truth about this pipeline’s real cost is coming to light.
“If we let oil companies build this pipeline, they will manipulate oil supplies to increase gas prices at the pump in 15 states throughout the Midwest. Changing the rules robs Americans of a full and fair debate and puts Big Oil ahead of consumers and ahead of pipeline safety.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a bipartisan group of Nebraska state legislators, pipeline experts and many others have warned that there has been inadequate assessment of pipeline safety. They say the U.S. needs time to improve state and federal regulations on pumping corrosive, pressurized tar sludge. The energy panel’s Upton-Terry bill would go in the opposite direction and speed dangerous pipeline construction.