On a 222-175 vote, the US House today passed legislation approving the Keystone pipeline.
The US state department had previous requested yet another environmental review, delaying the pipeline for at least another year. The House legislation would approve the pipeline, going around the obstructionist executive branch entirely.
“The environmental safeguards we demanded on the Keystone are rigorous and appropriate,” Rep. Kevin Cramer said during floor debate. “They’ve been tested and they work. I toured the Keystone during construction, and met many of the men and women who were grateful for the good paying jobs building the line, and many local restaurant and hotel proprietors, retailers, and subcontractors who were happy to have work and business. The local officials and school administrators are grateful for the tax revenue that would not be there but for the Keystone pipeline, and of course the tax relief it provides local farmers in addition to the easement payments are a blessing.”
According to official estimates, the Keystone XL pipeline would take hundreds of trucks off of North Dakota roads resulting in a potential six saved lives every year.
President Obama is opposed to the legislation arguing that it “seeks to circumvent longstanding and proven processes”.
But the, if the Obama administration weren’t intent on sandbagging this project far beyond what any reasonable regulatory review requires, those processes wouldn’t need to be circumvented. Rep. Cramer makes that point in his floor remarks, saying that the legislation should be unnecessary.
It’s president Obama’s abuse of regulatory power that has forced Congress to act.