Sen. Bernie Sanders vowed today that he will fight to uphold President Obama’s to deny the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.
In response to President Obama’s decision to deny the Keystone XL pipeline permit, Sen. Sanders said, “The president made the correct decision today in rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, and I will fight to ensure Congress does not overturn the decision.”
Sanders explained why Keystone was a bad deal for America,”The United States must help lead the world in combating global warming and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It would be incomprehensible to give approval to a tar sands oil project when producing tar sands oil creates 82 percent more carbon emissions than conventional oil, and when it poses the risk of extremely damaging oil spills. I agree with NASA scientist James Hansen who has stated that fully exploiting the tar sands would mean ‘game over’ for our efforts to reverse global warming. If we are serious about protecting the planet and improving our economy, America’s energy future must focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy. We know that by improving the fuel efficiency of our cars and trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon, an easily achievable accomplishment, we can save up to three times more oil per day than Keystone XL would carry.”
He ended his statement by praising Obama’s decision, “In my view, this tar sands pipeline is a bad deal for the country and for our planet, and the president has acted in the best interest of the American people in saying no to Keystone XL.”
In December, Senator Sanders urged Obama to call the Republicans bluff on Keystone XL. President Obama did more than call their bluff. He let the Republicans kill Keystone XL for him.
Republicans set themselves up for this one when they demanded that the 60 day deadline be included in the payroll tax/unemployment benefits extension. Republicans are already trying to spin Obama’s decision as a refusal to create jobs, but the truth is that Keystone XL project would only create 6,000 or so jobs. Most of the full time jobs would not be filled by locals, and the other jobs would be temporary construction.
The Keystone XL project is not a job creator, or a path to energy independence. The oil that would come from the project was destined to be sold on the global market. If anything, Keystone would open up all US production to the international market. A point that Republicans never seem to understand is that oil drilled in the United States to the oil company, not the country where it was extracted from.
The Republican strategy of hostage taking and bullying has once again failed to net them their desired result. It appears that congressional Republicans need to come up with a new strategy because President Obama and his congressional allies have them all figured out, and as long as Sen. Sanders is standing with the president, I like the odds that Obama’s decision on Keystone XL will stand.