Tar Sands Energy Security a Mirage, NWF Tells House Panel
Reuters said a heavily lopsided panel in favor of approving controversial tar sands pipeline told members it’s okay to skirt environment and safety reviews called for by conservationists. Only NWF’s Jeremy Symons testimony offered some balance.
Questions remain about House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton’s motives. His Michigan district saw the worst U.S. tar sands spill ever last year but he persists in moving legislation ASAP to clear the pipeline despite safety concerns that could lead to another tragic spill. Upton’s bill will likely also RAISE gas prices in Michigan. (The Chairman has also drawn criticism in his district for pushing anti-Clean Air Act legislation. In a district poll, his own voters say it’s a bad idea.)
Mr. Upton’s bill would force the Obama administration to make a decision by Nov. 1 about whether to permit the $13 billon Keystone XL project, which is a proposed 1,700 mile pipeline to transport tar sands through the U.S. to Gulf Coast refineries. Conservation groups say the opposite approach is needed, with more environmental safety review and legislation needed to head off another big spill.
“The Keystone XL pipeline scheme is an oil company wolf hiding in Canadian sheepskin. Big oil’s claims that this pipeline will help our energy security are a carefully fabricated mirage,” Symons will say. Full testimony here: Symons Testimony May 23 2011
In the hours before the hearing, news broke that the infamous Koch brothers may be pushing the bill and it may help explain at least in part some of the strange positioning from some Members of Congress.
Koch Industries and House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans quickly jabbed back, criticizing Rep. Henry Waxman’s probe of whether Koch stands to gain from a proposed pipeline to import Canadian high carbon tar sands.