U.S. House Vote Ratchets Up Keystone XL Pipeline Controversy

Higher Oil Prices for Consumers Sought by Industry

07-26-2011 // Tony Iallonardo

The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation, H.R. 1938 that would force the Obama administration to make a decision on the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline by November. 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 and the White House recently said it does not support the bill.

Oil in Kalamazoo River

The bill itself is legally unworkable says an NWF senior attorney, since it would attempt to bypass existing provisions of cornerstone environmental laws.

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The company proposing to build the pipeline, TransCanada, has endured scrutiny over documents they prepared saying the proposal would boost their profits by $4 billion by causing a Midwest price spike.

Their latest completed pipeline, Keystone I, has leaked 12 times in the last year and was cited by federal regulators as a danger to the public and environment. The bill also comes as Montana and Michigan continue to clean up massive spills from pipelines that carry corrosive tar sands.

Backers of the bill have mischaracterized the job's significance in a brazen effort to attract support from labor unions.

Jeremy Symons, NWF senior vice president said:

“The oil companies behind this bill are playing a high stakes game of hide the ball. They are desperate for Congress and the administration to rush the approval of this pipeline before its full costs comes to light.

“Keystone XL will turn the U.S. into the middlemen of world dirty fuels market. We inherit the risks and higher costs while Canadian oil giants reap the rewards. The real answer is homegrown U.S. clean energy that creates jobs and makes us energy independent.”

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