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  • House Committee to Consider Bill to Advance Keystone Pipeline

    In the wake of President Obama’s decision to shut down the Keystone XL pipeline on Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee has scheduled a hearing to review legislation that would restart the project, and give oversight responsibility to an agency the bill’s proponents say is less politically motivated than the White House.

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be invited to testify at the hearing, scheduled for Jan. 25, to discuss her department’s environmental review procedures.

    The hearing will focus on a bill introduced by Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), which would allow construction on the pipeline to begin a month after passage. The legislation would shift responsibility for approving the project from the White House to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

    Under the bill, FERC would have 30 days to approve the Keystone route examined in State’s “Final Environmental Impact Statement,” which found no significant environmental risk associated with the project. Construction would begin immediately after FERC approval. Nebraska, which has expressed concerns over the route of the pipeline, could then craft its own route, seek approval from its own environmental regulatory body, and submit it to FERC for approval, which would have 30 days to approve that route.

    In an interview with Energy & Environment TV, Terry explained that he wants to take responsibility for the Keystone pipeline “out of the politics that have developed in the State Department and the White House.”

    While FERC does have experience with pipelines, they generally transport natural gas. Heritage energy policy expert Nick Loris has offered a proposal that, while moving Keystone forward, would delegate responsibility for approving the project to Congress.

    A simple, effective approach would be for Congress to authorize the pipeline application as submitted by TransCanada pursuant to its authority to regulate commerce with other nations. Since there is no federal entity that sites and authorizes Interstate petroleum pipeline construction, the state of Nebraska could site and approve an alternative route, following the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s construction codes.

    Both Terry and other Energy and Commerce members blasted the administration’s Keystone decision in a news release announcing the hearing. “The White House, blinded by politics and public perception, has turned Keystone from a commonsense issue into a political issue,” Terry stated.

    Heritage has also criticized the administration’s apparently political move. The decision on Keystone “rejects jobs, energy, and logic,” noted Loris.

    Posted in Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    17 Responses to House Committee to Consider Bill to Advance Keystone Pipeline

    1. TimO says:

      Very good, this is the right thing to do. If only they have the guts to see it through. It's time for Americans to stand up. Destroying and holding back the lives of hard working people for the sake of a couple of extreme enviro-Nazi's is not just ignorant it is immoral and evil. Nobody wants to destroy the environment. We can have good things also. It's just a matter of using our American ingenuity instead of our greedy, selfish leftist fairyland ideals.

      • Tanto says:

        Thank you, TimO. Could not have stated this more " on target ".

      • Patti says:

        Why couldn't our elected officials come up with "a simple, effective approach". This is our problem with government, they can't see through the weeds.

    2. Lloyd Scallan says:

      I would rather cut off my right arm than give Obama any benefit of doubt, but as the governor of Montana (a Dem and Obama supporter) stated on Fox yesterday, is it the state of Nebraska holding up the process, thus providing Obama with the tiniest of excuses? I trust absolutely nothing Obama says, but does this give him an out?

    3. Lee says:

      Finally someone is taking the initiative to put people in charge of getting this country moving in the right direction. Enough of one man making decisions and being allowed to do so by a democratically sympathetic senate. Since when do we allow one man to run this country? Since when do we allow one man who has absolutely no experience running anything to bully this nation into accepting bad decisions?

    4. Richard Awtrey says:

      Very Good Article, But what makes anyone think that the Republican leadership do anything other than make speeches. So far they haven't showed me anything when it comes to standing up to the democrats and Obama, especially when it come to reversing any of his decisions.

    5. Not Likely says:

      "Heritage has also criticized the administration’s apparently political move. "

      That's because Heritage has a political motive to pretend it was a political move and not the proper response to a request to authorize a project that hadn't been examined.

      • Bobbie says:

        wow! so what's been going on besides dereliction of a do nothing administration that this hadn't been examined to the point it can't be used now when real independent studies have been named and say otherwise???!!!

      • poppyal1 says:

        Not Likely, Where you been? This project has been examined and cleared by everyone involved. Obummer is just using this to collect more votes from the environmental wackos. He could care less about the jobs lost or the lessening of energy dependence from the East. He just wants to please the people that he feels will direct the most votes towards his campaign (a campaign that he has been running on our tax dollar, illegally, for quite some time now).

    6. O2BMe says:

      This should be dealt with by the states the pipeline crosses. Just a case of the Government stepping on state rights again.

      • Pragmatic says:

        As far as I understand, a) it crosses international borders and, therefore, is the US government's business, and b) Nebraska is holding this up as well, thus the states (at least one of them) don't want it either.

        • John says:

          Prag your logic would have never allowed the pony express.Just who in Nebraska is against this pipeline ?I would wager you don't know or care this country needs this pipeline and it is safe period.We had better stop placing our future in the hands of the middle east arabs or don't you understand that letting tree huggers run this country is not in your or my best intrest.Just look at the San Fransico fruit cakes is that who you want running your life ?

    7. RennyG says:

      timO, very good comments. I say why can't "we" do the same as he does. "Just do it!!" Our country needs it all around. I pray our people will stand up and "Pray" this can be done without the bit "O!"

    8. Doug Pierce says:

      The administration's failure to approve this project is against the best interests of the United States in jobs and energy independence. This opportunity offers better solutions than to fight to open the Straight of Hormuz, where the west is threatened with blackmail by Iran.

    9. If obama can side step the Congress, then Cangress should be able to side step obama. Go for it Congress. Obama may not want new jobs for REAL AMERICANS but I am so glad to see that you are on your toes and fixing what obama continues to break…that being America.

      • Robert says:

        How exactly did Obama, "side step the Congress…" when Congress had nothing to do with the final decision? Congress told Obama to make the decision within 60 days and he did. He was in fact following the directions Congress gave him. The Republicans in Congress now want to sidestep Obama. In addition, I suppose you're right, Obama doesn't want new jobs considering the cost they will have, what with potentially contaminating the Ogallala Aquifer (the source for irrigation for over 10 states including Nebraska) at the expense of 5,000 temporary construction jobs and 20 permanent jobs. It's easy to bash Obama when you sit on your couch and get you information from sources which purposely leave out key information. Obama isn't breaking America, he's trying to keep one of the most important aspects of America (its agriculture) from breaking.

    10. Margaret says:

      The oil for the pipeline will be mostly exported to foreign countries.
      If we want lots of jobs for energy sources that will benefit the United States now and into the future…
      we need to build much more solar, wind, and geothermal projects.

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