Keystone XL Pipeline

The House voted for the ninth time on the Keystone XL pipeline project. Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) again voted PRESENT. He explains his vote on a previous occasion:

keystoe“I voted present on H R 3, Northern Route Approval Act. The Keystone XL pipeline is a private project owned by TransCanada Corporation. This bill improperly exempts TransCanada Corporation—and no other company—from laws that require pipeline owners and operators to obtain certain government permits and approvals.”

Rep. Amash goes on to say that laws ought to apply equally to all.

Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) explains his NO vote:

Today the House considered H.R. 5682, legislation to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. H.R. 5682 was introduced on Wednesday and it has not gone through the committee process. Despite this, H.R. 5682 was subject to a rule, which means that it passed by a simple majority vote instead of the 2/3 usually required when a bill does not go through regular order. The Keystone XL pipeline would carry crude oil over the Canadian border through parts of the U.S. to the Gulf Coast. The project requires a whole host of approvals, particularly because it would cross an international border. I think it is obvious from the nature of the project that it merits a significant environmental review and should be subject to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). H.R. 5682 basically exempts the Keystone XL Pipeline from permitting requirements. There is no need to rush this pipeline project through.  The review process is ongoing and should continue. Furthermore, exempting this project from existing requirements sets a troubling precedent for the future. –Rep. Capuano D-MA, who voted NO.

Rep. Reed voted AYE on HR-5682 to approve the proposed Keystone pipeline. One wonders why–should Congress be picking winners? Rep. Tom Reed, R-NY, explains his vote:

Today we voted in support of H.R 5682, a bill that will require the executive branch to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline through the central U.S. The House of Representatives took another step forward on a critical infrastructure project that will create over 42,000 fair jobs, that American consumers and workers will benefit from, lower energy costs and provide reliable and affordable North American energy.–Tom Reed who voted AYE,


All Republicans voted AYE except for Rep. Amash who voted Present. All but 31 Democrats voted NO. Who are the conservatives–Rep. Capuano who, wanting to go slow, voted NO, Rep. Amash who abstained, or all the Republicans including Rep. Reed who, wanting to make haste, voted AYE? How many who voted AYE were corrupted by campaign money?

© William Hungerford – November 2014

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25 Responses to Keystone XL Pipeline

  1. Anne says:

    There was a discussion about this on NPR today…the only permanent jobs this seems likely to create are those for the people who will be trying to clean up the environment ever after. Does anyone know where Reed gets his 42,000+ figure from? Does Reed really think that the oil that travels through the pipeline is intended for North American consumers, and not (as is actually the case) that it’s going to go out on the world market? We all know how much money the gas and oil industries donated to Reed’s campaign. We know what turning tricks in exchange for money means, but at least “prostitute” is a slightly nicer word than “whore.”


  2. josephurban says:

    I thought that the GOP was against the government “picking winners”.through policies.


  3. Deb Meeker says:

    Three lies in one fell swoop. A new record?
    The House Of Reps took a step BACKWARDS not forward.
    42,000 “fair jobs” (see document below)
    Lower energy costs for North Americans? No, no it won’t.

    This is likely where Reed got his ” 42,000 jobs” stat from, but of course he fails to tell the rest of the details.

    I firmly believe the truth is much closer to President Obama’s statement from China recently:
    ““Understand what this project is: It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else. It doesn’t have an impact on US gas prices,” he [Obama] said, according to ABC News.
    And, the President’s statement doesn’t even cover the fact that the US takes all the risks of pollution.


  4. whungerford says:

    Apparently, only when it suits them.


  5. whungerford says:

    Opening a cigar factory in a crowded tenement (an infamous example) would create jobs, yet might not be a good idea.


  6. whungerford says:

    Tom has changed “approximately 42,100 average annual jobs,” where a job lasting two years is counted twice, into over 42,000 fair jobs. “Over” is an exuberant exaggeration, and what is a “fair” job, one wonders? As Deb noted, a great deal information in the one report cited is condensed into one number.


  7. BOB McGILL says:

    seems that you people have no clue as to how the oil market works, its all sold to the highest bidder. Check out where Alaska’s oil goes.


  8. BOB McGILL says:



  9. josephurban says:

    A few points. Mr Obama has not decided against the XL pipeline. He has said over and over (I guess some people don’t have their listening ears on) that he is waiting for the final impact report before making a final decision. A true conservative would want to wait for all the facts before pushing ahead on what might be an impractical or dangerous project. So, While the GOP wets their pants and stomps their feet, the adult says: Well, kids, let’s see what the impact will be BEFORE we commit.
    To those who “don’t have a clue” as to how the oil market works….Check where Alaska’s oil is going. For the first time in over 20 years is exporting oil to Asia. Why? According to the company it was because bids from Asia were higher than bids for US sources. And in the future Congress will likely rescind the law preventing US oil from being sold overseas. So, there is no guarantee that any of the Canada oil will ever be used by US consumers.
    Another point about geography. Since Canada is a separate nation, the oil from the tar sands (the most polluting system for getting oil) will not be subject to US restrictions. So, this oil can be sold anywhere, to the highest bidder. So, the US would have to match or beat any bids by S Korea, Japan, etc. Driving oil prices UP.
    I am not opposed to the pipeline IF the following legal guarantees are put in place. 1. Any leakage form the pipeline for any reason will result in ALL the clean up costs and a substantial fine to be paid by the companies transporting the oil, not the US taxpayer. 2. All workers given these great jobs be guaranteed at least a 10 year contract or a substantial buyout if these 42,000 jobs prove to be short term rather than career jobs. 3. At least 50% of the oil produced to made available to US markets at a price 20% lower than the worldwide price of oil.
    We protect our jobs, our oil prices and out water supply. If this is such a great deal the Canadians should have no problem with these stipulations.


  10. BOB McGILL says:

    Most people are surprised to learn that the country from which the United States imports the greatest amount of oil is Canada. In recent years, the United States has imported approximately 200 million barrels of crude oil annually from Canada. 😛


  11. BOB McGILL says: Cached
    Where Does All the Oil Come From? The United States and Oil Imports – Facts and Figures. Over the course of the past few years, a great deal of media attention has


  12. whungerford says:

    The report Deb cited states: “Once the proposed Project enters service, operations would require an estimated 50 total employees: 35 permanent employees and 15 temporary contractors.”


  13. josephurban says:

    Why do you think most people are “surprised” by this ? We all know that Canada has a long history of being our best trading partner. If you are surprised don’t assume the rest of us were unaware of the economic realities. You may be surprised to learn that many companies have close ties across the border. US auto companies, as one example , have been making cars in Canada for many years. SURPRISE ! Now, what does that have to do with the tar sands oil that will pass through the US and be sold to Asia ?


  14. josephurban says:

    We now see that property owners in South Dakota are complaining that they were threatened by Trans Canada with land seizure under eminent domain if they did not agree to allow the pipeline. This is a serious charge by family farmers that equates with coercion.
    One wonders if the GOP “freedom lovers” will stand up for the property rights of these farmers? Or will they side with the foreign corporation that has threatened land seizure to obtain compliance? golly, gee. I wonder. 😉
    Source: AP October 27, 2014 South Dakota Keystone Re- Approval Draws Skepticism


  15. Anne says:

    Actually, we do know, Bob: the point is, the R’s are trying to sell the idea that it’s somehow all going to come to us.


  16. Anne says:

    The whole eminent domain thing is a sticky wicket, to be sure. When the Supremes first made that ruling, the first thing the Libertarians did, in my then-home state of NH, was to try to seize David Souter’s family property there, with the aim of turning it into a B & B (and with thousands of signatures from people saying they’d absolutely go spend their money there). Clive Bundy manages to attain some sort of folk hero status (amongst those with their stuponatron hats on), but of course,money’s the biggest hero of them all in the ranks of those who are currently in power.


  17. Anne says:

    My opposition to it comes from listening to what climate scientists have to say on the subject: if it goes through, it’s game over for the climate. We need to create all those jobs in renewables, and in non-polluting forms of energy. The oil is still, eventually, going to run out.


  18. BOB McGILL says:

    HA, HA, HA, didn’t Cuomo say the same thing about fracking, ” A few points. Mr Obama has not decided against the XL pipeline. He has said over and over (I guess some people don’t have their listening ears on) that he is waiting for the final impact report before making a final decision.”

    like it is the only pipeline ever built 🙂


  19. BOB McGILL says:
    The power of the government to take private property and convert it into public use. The Fifth Amendment provides that the government may only exercise this …

    don’t miss this part ” just compensation ” 😛

    The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides further support for the federal government’s eminent-domain power, but also places important limitations and protections on the use of that power. The Fifth Amendment states, “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” According to the U.S. Supreme Court in Carmack, the amendment’s text “is a tacit recognition of a preexisting power to take private property for public use, rather than a grant of new power.” The Fifth Amendment also protects property owners by forcing the federal government to pay “just compensation” for the property taken and by permitting the federal government to condemn private property only when it does so for a “public use.”


  20. whungerford says:

    It is clear that the government can take private property for public use, but in this case they would take it for private use.


  21. Anne says:

    The idea is that the use of the property has to be for the public good. Now, in the case of the Keystone pipeline, it’s obvious that the real “good” in it is fattening the wallets of the investors and, surprise again!–the Koch bros. are the biggest leaseholders of the Canadian oil sands. Criminy, is there anything their money *can’t* do?


  22. josephurban says:

    The taking of private land for government use is one thing. (for a national park, local dump, etc) The taking of private land for the use of another private entity is another thing all together. While nowhere in the Constitution does it say you can take someone’s property for private use, the Kelo vs. New London case made an exception for a particular land developer.
    After the Kelo decision the POTUS decided to act on his own. As a way of making it clear what the federal government’s position on this issue is, the POTUS signed an executive order on the subject.
    He ordered that the federal government must restrict the use of eminent domain…”for the purpose of benefiting the general public and not merely for the purpose of advancing the economic interest of private parties to be given ownership or use of the property taken.” I agree with the POTUS.
    (By the way. that executive order was issued by GW Bush on June 23, 2006.


  23. Deb Meeker says:

    Joseph, beyond any jobs numbers, accurately reported or not, beyond any “sharing of the spoils”, and beyond responsibility to clean up any spills or environmental contamination, is the important dire fact – On the Keystone XL pipeline product, James Hansen, who heads the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City :
    “Building the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline alone for example would wipe out the benefits of new EPA standards adopted that would cut greenhouse gas emissions from medium to heavy-duty trucks.”
    It’s the environment, the environment, the environment.


  24. pystew says:

    Importing Canadian oil is a reason NOT to have this pipeline. If the pipeline is built the oil that we would buy will then be diverted to Texan ports, and shipped overseas. The price that we will pay for gas will increase. Sure the gas companies will make more profit, but it will be on the backs of Americans.

    Pipe Dreams (A Report By Cornell University Global Labor Institute, pg.27)


  25. pystew says:

    Today’s senate vote was very good news for those who are against the pipeline. The Republicans received 59 votes. They were filibustered. The pipeline died…for 6 or 7 weeks. They will bring it up again, it will pass in both chambers of congress. It will then be vetoed…and neither the House nor the Senate will reach the 2/3 to over ride the veto. Then it will be revived for the 2018 campaign. More waste of time.


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