How sneaky. House Republican leaders are planning to attach a rider that would accelerate approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, the plan for which was delayed last month, to legislation dealing with unemployment benefits and payroll tax cuts.
Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.), the sponsor of the Keystone pipeline measure, told reporters that Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced the strategy at a House GOP conference meeting Friday morning.
“The Speaker announced that this bill will be part of the unemployment and tax holiday package,” Terry said at a press conference on the pipeline bill.
Sierra Club director Michael Brune said in response to the strategy:
"Big Oil expects this special treatment from their friends in Congress, who are now trying to rush a decision on Keystone XL, despite the Administration's decision that this project needs more review to protect the health and safety of millions of Americans. It's time for Congress to stop doing the bidding of the world's largest polluters and stand up for real energy solutions. The Sierra Club is strongly opposed to any legislative effort to rush a decision on Keystone XL."
The Hill continued that if the Boehner strategy is successful, it "could make opposing the Terry plan more difficult for Democrats because extending unemployment insurance and payroll tax cuts this year are priorities for Capitol Hill Democrats and the White House."
More on Keystone XL:
Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Could Have 91 Serious Spills in 50 Years
Gasland's Josh Fox on Tar Sands & Keystone XL Pipeline (VIDEO)
Sen. Bernie Sanders: Building Tar Sands Pipeline "Will Keep America Addicted to Oil" (Video)