Another Keystone XL Vote as Big Oil Flexes Hill Muscle

Once again essential legislation is being taken hostage by Big Oil’s backers on Capitol Hill. The vehicle this time is the transportation bill, a massive piece of legislation that aims to invest in infrastructure and stimulate job growth.

"Windmills Not Oil Spills," read the sign of this young opponent to the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Image from Bold Nebraska.
In forcing another vote on the Keystone XL pipeline in the House, Speaker John Boehner continues his campaign to give handouts to an industry that is flush with profits.  His plan would leave Americans with the costly tab of cleaning up the mess from future oil spills and pollution.

“Americans don’t want our transportation jobs and investments stuck in gridlock because Speaker Boehner insists on pushing oil industry handouts,” says Jeremy Symons, senior vice president for National Wildlife Federation. “The Senate has already voted down the oil lobby’s plan to rush the Keystone pipeline, but Speaker Boehner is willing to put jobs at risk once again by hijacking the transportation bill.”

As in past votes, it’s done under the guise of gas price relief and to stimulate job growth. Independent observers have noted those job and price claims are inflated at best:

  • Gas Prices: The Washington Post said the claim that prices “would” go down was wrong.  In fact, the industry has admitted prices would actually rise in many states if Keystone XL is built. See our media memo that lays out the oil industry scheme.
  • Jobs: The claims of more jobs come from industry purchased assessments.  Once again, the Washington Post fact checker didn’t find that very credible. Cornell University’s Global Labor Institute has said the net effect could even be job losses when you consider the devastating effects of spills on sectors like agriculture and ranching.

Take Action

What Keystone XL does do is deepen our addiction to dirty fuels like tar sands.  The Canadian heavy crude it will carry is projected to harm species like wolves and caribou. We don’t have to let that happen. We can urge Congress to protect wildlife and reject Keystone XL.  Make your voice heard! 

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Published: April 17, 2012