Bernie Sanders Urges Obama to Call The GOP’s Bluff and Reject Keystone XL

Dec 17 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

In a statement today, Sen. Bernie Sanders urged President Obama call the Republicans’ bluff and reject the Keystone XL pipeline plan.

Here is Sen. Sanders yesterday on the Senate floor talking about Keystone XL:

In a statement today, Sanders urged Obama to reject the pipeline project, “I strongly oppose the provision to fast-track approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. Producing tar sands oil creates 82 percent more carbon pollution than conventional oil, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. NASA scientist James Hansen says exploiting the tar sands would be ‘game over’ for our efforts to reverse global warming. I urge President Obama to call the Republicans’ bluff and reject the dangerous Keystone XL project.”

The National Wildlife Federation described the Keystone XL project as, “TransCanada, a Canadian pipeline company, has proposed a pipeline called Keystone XL, which would carry up to 900,000 barrels per day of tar sands oil from operations in Alberta, Canada, more than 2,000 miles to refineries on the Gulf Coast. The pipeline would cut through six American heartland states, including Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Keystone XL would lock the U.S. into a dependence on this dirty fuel and drive a massive expansion of the tar sands operations in Alberta, Canada. Because Keystone XL would deliver tar sands oil to the Gulf Coast, America’s largest oil refining and transport hub, it would effectively open the entire U.S. market and international markets to dirty fuel.”

Republicans claim that Keystone XL will create tens of thousands of jobs, but an independent analysis of the project by Cornell University’s Global Labor Institute found that, “Based on data provided by TransCanada to the State Department, only between 506 and 1,387 workers would be hired locally. A state-by-state breakdown indicates that KXL will create between 93 and 257 jobs for residents in Montana; 121-333 jobs in South Dakota; 90-248 jobs in Nebraska; 6-18 jobs in Kansas; 41-113 jobs in Oklahoma; and 156-470 jobs in Texas.”

Most of the jobs created will be temporary construction, and only 10%-15% of the people hired will be local. Keystone XL isn’t a job creator. It is another gift to big oil, and a potential environmental disaster waiting to happen in the Heartland of America.

Notice that Republicans didn’t gain approval of the project. They only got the review process accelerated. In fact, their vote might have given the Obama administration a good reason to reject the project. Obama now has clear path to rejecting Keystone without delay.

Sen. Sanders was correct. Every American should join him in pressuring the administration to reject Keystone XL.

Let’s make sure that the GOP’s Christmas gift to Big Oil never gets delivered.

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