GOP Slaps Keystone XL Onto (Another) Transportation Bill, Obama Threatens Veto

Tar Sands Action/CC BY 2.0

The GOP is, once again, trying to slap a measure approving their favorite pipeline into unrelated transportation legislation. Obama says he'll veto if they do:

“Because this bill circumvents a longstanding and proven process for determining whether cross-border pipelines are in the national interest by mandating the permitting of the Keystone XL pipeline before a new route has been submitted and assessed, the president’s senior advisers would recommend that he veto this legislation."
That's from a "statement of administration policy" the White House released on Tuesday, and it's pretty much the same line Obama offered up last time House Republicans tried this trick. (And it has pretty much the same effect of punting the unpleasant decision past election season)

As you're likely aware, the House GOP have done this over and over, believing it to be a winning issue in a national moment of high gas prices and rampant talk about energy. The polls shows that voters do favor their position (but only when they know little about the pipeline), but this little rite should start proving unseemly to the public pretty fast.

After all, the GOP has essentially made overriding Americans' health and safety concerns in favor of enriching a Canadian oil company a centerpiece of its energy policy platform. Building the Keystone XL won't reduce oil prices (in fact, it may make them rise in some regions), and it won't bring the jobs Republicans are promising, either. Instead, it will line the pockets of oil companies and tap us into one of the biggest known carbon bombs in the world.

It's a neat trick indeed that the Republicans have pulled off, getting conservative and moderate voters to root for a giveaway to Big Oil at no discernible benefit to themselves—but I guess that trick's been played for decades now.

Tags: Barack Obama | Tar Sands | Tar Sands Action | United States