Dangerous Republican Keystone XL Pipeline Bill Approved in House Committee

NRDC: “Legislation is a Ruse to Turn Congress into a Permitting Body”

WASHINGTON  (February 7, 2012) – The following is a statement from Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council,  on H.R.  3458, a bill introduced by Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., and approved today by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. 

As part of the final bill, the committee rejected an amendment by Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., that would require the tar sands oil from the pipeline to be kept in the United States.

“This legislation is just a ruse to turn Congress into a permitting body and jam the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline through without proper environmental review. The Terry bill does not give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission the power to decide whether the Keystone XL pipeline should proceed as some Republicans might describe. 

“Instead, they are approving a pipeline with a route that is yet to be determined and that would carry a corrosive and dirty substance that may make spills more likely.  U.S. waters would be put at risk by a dirty fuel but the benefits would be reaped by oil companies that will export most of this oil. 

“The defeat of the Markey amendment shows just how much the Keystone XL economics will depend on shipping tar sands oil through, not to, the United States.

"President Obama put our health and safety and our climate, air, lands and water above the interests of Big Oil when he rejected the pipeline. It’s a shame some lawmakers won’t do the same.

“We hope the Senate will use common sense and avoid trying to undermine proper review using politically motivated legislative maneuvers.”

See Frances Beinecke’s blog post here for more information on the Terry bill.

NRDC Attorney Anthony Swift also has a blog post here on the legislation.