Whew. For a hot moment there, I was worried about our dear House Republicans. After all, a good month or so had gone by since they last tried to approve the Keystone XL, which just wasn't like them. Up till then, they'd been trying to ram the 1,700 mile tar sands pipeline through every other week or so. Payroll tax cuts? Add in Keystone. Transit bill? Keystone. Over and over. It's just become part of who they are.
To the climate blogger, the GOP's obsession with Keystone is like that one corner on the block where the neighborhood kids always hung out after school. If you showed up, you could always count on it being there. We could all play together, laughing at the infantile things being said, reveling in the ignorance of reality. Tens of thousands of jobs? Haha! It'd lower gas prices? Oh, Johnny B, that's ridiculous.
But for the last few weeks, zilch. I kept expectantly showing up—refreshing the E-2 Wire, scanning Politico—but no. The kids were staying indoors. Was something wrong?
Nope! They were just biding their time. Here's the Hill:
House Republican leadership will take another crack at forcing approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline on legislation extending federal transportation funding for another 90 days.To reiterate: the House GOP is going to try to slap a measure that approves, once and for all, the Keystone XL on a measure that extends transit funding for three months. This is yet another maneuver that will end up injecting partisan rancor into what should be a routine, humdrum effort—securing stopgap transit funding until proper longterm legislation bill can be passed. They're once again dropping a political landmine where there should be no battlefield at all.
“American families and small businesses are struggling with high gas prices, and President Obama’s policies are only making things worse,” a House GOP leadership aide said. “This bill will pave the way for a House-Senate conference to discuss both reforming how taxpayer dollars are spent on federal infrastructure programs, and also meaningful solutions that would address high gas prices and create jobs by permanently removing government barriers to American energy production."
And they're doing it because they still believe that Keystone is a winning issue. Their (deeply erroneous) message of "Cheaper gas, oil from a friendly neighbor, more jobs" is unrelenting, and, sadly, working. So, this ploy might yet lead to another 'showdown' situation, where the whole of federal transportation funding could be threatened by the House GOP's intentionally divisive, hardline politicking.