Friends of the Earth statement on Keystone XL vote in Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
Washington, D.C. – With a vote of 12-10 the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee moved legislation by Chairwoman Mary Landrieu (D-La.) that if enacted would circumvent President Obama and the National Interest Determination process for the Keystone XL pipeline. The bill would grant TransCanada immediate approval to build the pipeline and would maintain that approval even if changes to the route are made by the state of Nebraska, where the route currently remains tied up in the courts. The full Senate has twice voted on Keystone XL and the House has eight times during this Congress.
Friends of the Earth’s Climate and energy program director Ben Schreiber issued the following statement in response to the vote:
It is all too routine for Chairwoman Landrieu to publicly pledge allegiance to Big Oil and their money with legislative favors. Yet another Keystone XL vote does nothing to build the dirty pipeline, but it does illustrate why campaign finance reform is so essential for the success of our democracy.
While many Members of Congress seem beholden to the oil companies that bankroll their campaigns, climate activists understand that time is running out to avoid the worst impacts of climate disruption. The Keystone XL pipeline is a line in the sand on climate that we cannot afford to cross. If we have any hope of heeding scientists and leaving the crucial two-thirds of proven fossil fuel reserves in the ground, crippling infrastructure projects like Keystone cannot be built. The Keystone XL decision still lies with President Obama and it will prove a defining moment for his legacy.