The GOP has Keystone fever.
Backed by oil industry lobbyists, the might of the US Chamber of Commerce, and the repeated mantras of conservative pundits (jobs, oil from a 'friendly neighbor', jobs, oil from a ...) the GOP has relentlessly tried to approve the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.First, Republicans passed an amendment in the payroll tax cut bill forcing Obama to decide whether to approve the pipeline. He decided not too. Then the House GOP slapped Keystone XL approval into legislation designed to be part of a transportation package. That package sunk. Then GOP leadership in the Senate then tried to add an amendment to its transportation bill approving the Keystone. It was defeated, but just barely.
Now, another Senator is adding yet another Keystone-approving amendment to the same transportation bill. Again. It never ends. Republicans can't get enough of that tar sand-pumping goodness.
Tomorrow, the Senate is scheduled to vote on amendment #1826 to the Senate Transportation bill (S. 1813). Introduced by Sen. Roberts (R-KS), this wish list for Big Oil is even worse than the Vitter amendment that failed in the Senate last week. It would mandate drilling off of every coast in our nation and in the Arctic Refuge, allow oil shale development on millions of acres in America’s west, and allow the already-rejected Keystone XL pipeline to go forward.The bill would also mandate that copies of the legislation be wrapped in a great big box with fancy ribbon so that oil executives can giddily open it up and feign delighted surprise when it is delivered to their offices.
Seriously, this is ridiculous. The GOP is trying to capitalize on the high gas price talk by ushering in a bonanza for its oil industry buddies, but still. Let's at least try to exercise some restraint here, fellas.