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Six Years And Counting On The Keystone Pipeline

It’s now been six years since the application for Keystone Pipeline was submitted to the federal government for approval. Despite promising to use her clout as Energy Chair to help the oil and gas industry, Mary Landrieu has failed to get the pipeline approved. Instead, Landrieu promised to back down from pushing for the pipeline after it left her committee, said it was not her job to get President Obama to approve construction of it, and wholeheartedly endorsed Harry Reid, the number one obstacle to oil and gas jobs in the U.S. Senate.

If you’re writing on the six year anniversary of the start of the Keystone Pipeline project, please see the blog post from the RNC Research blog post (below) and consider the following statement from the Republican National Committee:

“Senator Landrieu’s track record is one of an ineffective Senator that fails to follow through on important issues like the Keystone Pipeline and instead is a reliable vote for President Obama’s liberal agenda on nearly every issue, from ObamaCare to overreaching EPA bureaucrats. Instead of fighting for Louisiana and energy jobs, Landrieu is content to vote however Harry Reid and Barack Obama tell her to.” – Ben Voelkel, RNC spokesman



Six Years And Counting On The Keystone Pipeline

Six Years Ago Today, TransCanada Filed An Application With The State Department To Construct The Keystone Pipeline. “September 19, 2008: TransCanada asks the State Department for permission to construct Keystone XL.” (Ned Resnikoff, “Decision Time Looms For Keystone XL,” MSNBC, 3/14/14)

Obama Administration: Delays, Delays, Delays And More Delays

In November 2011, The Obama Administration Announced It Was Reconsidering Keystone’s Route, Pushing A Decision Beyond The 2012 Election. “The State Department announced on Thursday that it will explore a new route for the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline, pushing a final decision on the controversial project past the 2012 election.” (Aamer Madhani And Wendy Koch, “Controversial Canada-To-Texas Keystone Pipeline Delayed,” USA Today, 11/11/11)

In January 2012, Obama Rejected The Keystone Pipeline Application, But Left The Possibility For A New Proposal.  “President Obama, denouncing a ‘rushed and arbitrary deadline’ set by congressional Republicans, announced Wednesday that he was rejecting a Canadian firm’s application for a permit to build and operate the Keystone XL pipeline, a massive project that would have stretched from Canada’s oil sands to refineries in Texas. Obama said that the Feb. 21 deadline, set by Congress as part of the two-month payroll tax cut extension, made it impossible to adequately review the project proposed by TransCanada. But he left the door open to the possibility that a new proposal might pass regulatory muster.” (Juliet Eilperin And Steven Mufson, “Obama Administration Rejects Keystone XL,” The Washington Post, 1/18/12)

In March 2012, After Personal Lobbying By Obama, The Senate Rejected Legislation To Expedite Keystone Construction. “In the wake of lobbying by President Obama and Senate Democratic leaders, the Senate Thursdaydefeated legislation to speed up construction of a U-S.-Canadian oil pipeline. The White House victory came after the president started personally calling Democratic senators Wednesday night. The vote underscored the extent to which rising gas prices and energy supply have become a central political issue.” (Juliet Eilperin And Ed O’keefe, “Senate Rejects Expediting Keystone Pipeline,” The Washington Post, 3/8/12)

In April 2014, The Administration Indefinitely Extended Its Review Of The Keystone Pipeline. “The Obama administration says it is indefinitely extending its long-awaited review of the Keystone XL pipeline — providing a Good Friday jolt to one of the president’s most wrenching environmental decisions.” (Andrew Restuccia And Darren Goode, “Keystone Decision Delayed Yet Again,” Politico, 4/18/14)

·         “The Obama Administration Pulled A Classic Campaign-Year Move Friday: It Punted On The Keystone XL Pipeline.”(Andrew Restuccia, “Keystone Non-Decision Keeps Some Democrats On The Hot Seat,” Politico, 4/18/14)

Obama Continues To Obstruct Keystone Despite State Department Reports Favoring The Pipeline

The Release Of The State Department’s Environmental Impact Report “Removes A Major Excuse For Delay.”“But the release Friday of a long-awaited government report removes a major excuse for delay, ramping up pressure on the president to make a call.” (Nedra Pickler And Josh Lederman, “Obama Running Out Of Reasons To Reject Keystone XL,” The Associated Press, 2/1/14)

  • The State Department Report “Discounted Most Of The Environmental Community’s Warnings” About Keystone. “The new State Department report that discounted most of the environmental community’s warnings about the Keystone XL oil pipeline puts the final decision on the project closer to Obama’s desk, after years in which he’s been able to dodge rendering a verdict.” (Darren Goode And Darren Samuelsohn, “Keystone Foes Pinning Final Hopes On Obama,” Politico, 2/1/14)

MSNBC’S Mika Brzezinski: There Have Been Numerous State Department Reviews In Support Of Keystone—The Delay Is “Hard To Defend.” BRZEZINSKI: “There’ve been like four State Department reviews approving or opening the door for it to move forward. It’s hard to defend.” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 4/21/14)


Approval Of The Pipeline Would Have Potentially Dampened The Enthusiasm Of Wealthy Anti-Keystone Donors Such As Billionaire Tom Steyer. “Approval of the pipeline would also have risked dampening the enthusiasm of wealthy donors such as billionaire investor Tom Steyer, who is spending tens of millions of dollars to boost environmentally-friendly candidates.” (Jeff Mason and Steve Holland, “Keystone XL Delay Could Give Boost To Obama's Political Base,” Reuters, 4/20/14)

·         Steyer Has Pledged To Spend $100 Million To Help Democrats In November And His Top Issue Is Stopping Keystone.“But there are at least 100 million reasons why the president has held up the decision. Those reasons live in the bank account of hedge fund manager Tom Steyer who has pledged to spend $100 million helping Democrats avoid disaster in a 2014 midterm election where their Senate majority is in serious jeopardy. Steyer's No. 1 issue? Stopping the Keystone pipeline.” (Ben White, “Why Obama’s Keystone Opposition Reeks Of Politics,” CNBC, 4/21/14)

CNBC Headline: “Why Obama’s Keystone Opposition Reeks Of Politics (Ben White, “Why Obama’s Keystone Opposition Reeks Of Politics,” CNBC, 4/21/14)

CNBC’s John Harwood: The Keystone Delay Is “100 Percent Politics” And It Is Not The Finest Hour For The Obama Administration. JOHN HARWOOD: “On the other hand, they’ve got the donors, Tom Steyer you mentioned, others, you’ve got environmentally active voters in other places who they’re trying to get to turn out. Democrats have huge turnout problems in this election, Republican supporters have much more likely to show up. So I do think this is pretty much 100 percent politics in the delay of this decision. And it’s an administration that has got a couple years to go; they’re trying to prevent themselves from losing the Senate, you know, not get wiped out too badly in the House. And I think it’s kind of simple as that. It’s not the finest hour for the administration in terms of leadership.” (CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” 4/21/14)

And Don’t Count On Democrat Senators Who Claim To Support The Keystone Pipeline – They’re Siding With Harry Reid In Blocking It

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, With The Support Of Nearly All Senate Democrats, Used A Procedural Maneuver To Block A Vote On Keystone Pipeline. “Senate Democrats defeated Republican attempts to bring up amendments to an energy efficiency bill on Wednesday. Republicans filed a motion to table Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) amendments he used to ‘fill the tree’ but it failed on a 45-52 vote.” (Ramsey Cox, “Senate Dems Block GOP Attempt To Amend Energy Bill,” The Hill, 5/7/14)

Senators Mary Landrieu, Kay Hagan, Mark Udall And Mark Begich All Joined With Harry Reid, Killing A Vote On The Keystone XL Pipeline. (S. 2262, Roll Call Vote #132, Defeated 45-52: R 44-0; D 1-52, 5/7/14, Landrieu Voted Nay, Hagan Voted Nay, Begich Voted Nay)

Paid for by the Republican Party of Louisiana. Not authorized by any candidate or candidates committee.