Keystone XL Backfires On Republicans As Democrats Move To Turn Pipeline Into A Real Jobs Bill



Senate Democrats are flipping the script on Mitch McConnell by introducing a series of amendments to the bill authorizing the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline that would turn the project into a real job creator.

According to Politico,


Senate Democrats are floating a handful of amendments to a Republican Keystone XL pipeline bill to prohibit exports of the Canadian oil and to push green energy as they prepare to take on the role of the minority party of the upper chamber.


— Ban the export of oil transported through the pipeline, language that Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) has frequently floated in both chambers of Congress;

— Require U.S.-produced iron, steel and manufactured goods “to be used for the pipeline construction, connection, operation, and maintenance.” It’s another familiar measure that senators like Markey and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) have offered.

— Require “that for every job created by the pipeline, an equal or greater amount of jobs is created through clean energy investments.” Schumer and Stabenow highlight legislation from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) that would cut the price of home solar units through rebates.

— Restore funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program to levels authorized in the 2009 economic stimulus bill under the condition that seniors and veterans get first priority.

— Prohibit a state from permitting a foreign corporation to invoke eminent domain. This addresses a key part of a case that will soon be decided by the Nebraska Supreme Court on the legality of the state’s approval of a route for the pipeline there.

The requirement that U.S. made products be used permanently on the pipeline would mean that the project would have some long-term benefit for American workers. The ban on the export of the oil would mean that the project really would impact North American supplies. Currently, the oil is destined to be sold overseas with the U.S. assuming all the risk while getting none of the rewards. A requirement that an equal amount of clean energy jobs be created in exchange for authorization of the construction of the pipeline will certainly bring about howls of rage from Big Oil and their congressional allies.

Senate Democrats and Independents are trying to turn Keystone XL into a project that would provide some long-term benefits to the American people. The Republican bill that would authorize the construction of the pipeline is a thinly disguised gift to Big Oil. Keystone XL won’t create jobs, and studies have shown that the pipeline may cause gasoline prices to increase in the Midwest.

Senate Democrats are putting Republicans in the position of having to choose between heating assistance for senior citizens and veterans, supporting American made products, or giving a gift to Big Oil.

Republicans will most likely vote down all of the Democratic amendments, but Democrats have fired the first shot in what will be a two years long operation to expose the real Republican agenda.

85 Replies to “Keystone XL Backfires On Republicans As Democrats Move To Turn Pipeline Into A Real Jobs Bill”

  1. They will vote down the amendments and it still get introduced the President’s veto pen.

    Keystone pipeline? More like keystone cops

  2. If anyone brings up all the permanent jobs from the Keystone pipeline, be sure to tell them that we are talking about 85 jobs.

    Good for the Dems! Keep it up.

  3. “two years long operation to expose the real Republican agenda”…Anyone who doesn’t know what that is by now is unwilling or unable to listen.

  4. An additional amendment should be that any congress person with any investment in any company involved with the pipeline be prohibited from voting on the final bill. That would kill the bill right then and there.

  5. Sadly, most of these proposals are WTO-illegal.

    For example, the “use only American steel” provision would be considered illegal preferential treatment under international trade law.

    That is why so many of us marched in Seattle in 1999, but corporate Democrats didn’t want to hear it.

  6. That’s what I’ve heard, too: 35-40 permanent jobs, not 30,000 or whatever number the Republicans can pull out of their nether-regions and not be called on by the “liberal media” to explain.

  7. I am not sure this will be vetoed, but, they could add an amendment that mandates that ALL jobs go to AMERICANS.

    I have read that if this goes through, TransCanada plans to bring their own workers in from Canada.

  8. I laugh when I read comments about:
    Thousands of jobs
    Energy independence

    But they never mention antyhing about:
    Environmental damage
    what are they doing to with all the leftover “COKE” that is a byproduct of the crude oil processing

  9. Do you have a link to the “bring in their own workers in from Canada” thing?

    that would be awsome ammunition

  10. That should be required for all legislation. Anyone who will benefit financially from a bill’s passage should be barred from voting on it.

  11. I’m not sure you’re right about that. A ferry terminal in Prince Rupert, linking it with Alaska, is being built in Canada by the U.S. and there is a dispute about using only American-made steel. From what I’ve read, the U.S. is expected to win this dispute.

  12. Ed Markey tried to limit the steel to American manufacturers a couple years ago in a committee meeting and was told the steel has already been purchased – from overseas. I give the Dems an applaud for at least trying, but it’ll never happen, the money’s already been spent. (by KOCH Pipeline)

  13. As a Canadian I hope the XL pipeline doesn’t get built. I know that the possibility of a major oil spill is more than enough reason to not build it. How are Americans benefiting from it at all? If oil was staying in your country and refined there it would be a benefit but it is slated to be shipped most likely to China. The oil companies here have destroyed thousands of acres of land polluted rivers and lakes with the dirty bitumen from the tar sands. We are fighting to stop two more pipelines from being built here in BC that would go through pristine areas of our province and they want to send tankers through an area that is not very navigable for smaller ships. Big oil needs to be harnessed before they ruin more of our environment.

  14. This is still opening a Pandora’s box. Just because we will receive a paltry amount from this bill, it is still a bad idea for the US. We are still giving the GOP what they want. We are stooping to their level and playing a game that the only one’s that will win are the big oil company’s in the end. Just because we use American made products, produced and put together by American workers, is still no guarantee that there won’t be an accident. How much more can our ecosystem take before enough is enough? It is time to be putting our ideas, money and energy in developing cleaner fossil free fuel. Whether it be wind, solar or recycled cooking oil if that is a viable option. Any way is a better way than the idea of another pipeline.

  15. no worries Kathleen. no way in hell the GOP approves of those new amendments for the Keystone. never in a million years with a GOP majority. so dems look good and the GOP, well, the GOP continue to look like idiotic children. Obama will veto anything regarding the keystone and dem senators have already confirmed they would have the votes to sustain an Obama veto. the GOP will reap what it has sown the past six years and this pipeline will not happen. this is something personal with Obama and he knows the GOP and the Koch brothers want it so badly… sorry righties. the GOP has nowhere near the number of votes to override an Obama veto, to repeal laws, or to impeach. watch the rightwing squirm for the next two years before dems take back the house, senate, and keep the white house. madam president has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

  16. The did back in 2013. The Dems were going to pass the Keystone pipeline if 75% of steel used in construction was made in the US. They also wanted the oil that flows through the pipeline stays in America. 99% of the Republican party voted NAY!

  17. what you just said is exactly why big coal and big oil are fighting green energy like never before. the coal and oil industry is spending billions in an all out assault on clean energy. they are running scared. reminds me of how now big pharmaceutical giants are spending massive amounts in a war against medicinal and recreational marijuana. they cant stand the competition and it is seriously taking a bite out of their profit margins.

  18. I don’t Like this…..I LOVE THIS!!!! Can we hope that the Dems start using their heads like this in more venues?

  19. FOX would have never let people know.
    We have to BROADCAST this alternative!
    So that the American People realize the Dems ideas are brilliant!

    FOX Lies By Omission!

  20. I L U V I T !!!!!

    I have often said “Get out the popcorn Cuz this is going to be aw wild ride”. I just never thought it was going to be so wild and so much fun! !!

    These rethuglican idiots always inject a poison pill in their bills thus forcing the president to veto his own priorities or sign the nasty things he dislike. Let’s see how they like it now. . Good for you Nancy and Harry.

    Let’s add some fine wine to the popcorn and put your feet up.

  21. Yes, but with this new twist, we may be looking at quite a few more than 40, a real jobs bill. Wish I could see the turtle’s face as his head is about to explode. LMFAO

  22. The problem is that no one wants it at ALL who cares about the environment. Pipelines leak, and this one crosses the most critical aquifer in the nation.

    No matter that the oil stays, that US steel is used, etc., it’s dangerous, and the only dodge here is that the GOP don’t want any of the provisions, so they can’t support it as the Dems have authorized.

    Unless – unless – they do… Then what?

  23. The kxl would only create about 30 permanent jobs. Why not invest in renewable energy instead for far more jobs?

  24. As long as the Koch Brothers keep buying our Congressmen we will have a constant fight on our hands to get cleaner fuel. Until Republican Voters realize that they are Puppets for the Koch’s we are probably fighting a losing battle.

    I am not sure why the Republicans are so stubborn, but obviously they think they are immune to the future happenings in this country.

    Big surprise in store when they realize they are on the losing end along with the Democrats who they have mocked for the past 6-years.

  25. I found this:

    They all look so happy in the pics, as in we’re “going to pollute your country and run away when there’s a spill” happy.
    They even promote energy independance but we know the oil is going into the world market and it WILL be going to China.
    This website is just like Faux Nooze, 18% correct and 72% pure fabrication.

    I’d still like to know where they’re going to dispose of all that toxic “COKE”, in the Gulf?
    Port Arthur, Texas, as well as the rest of Texas, is already so polluted as it is.

    and politifact calls the # of jobs FALSE

    Sen. Bernie Sanders bill has many, MANY more “shovel ready” jobs and the $$$ stays in the U.S., rather than going to fill the
    Canadian coffers even though we’re ALL Americans.

  26. My mind is blown. What difference as to how many permanent jobs are created when the most important U.S. aquafer is put at risk. The environment is the most important issue of the Keystone XL pipeline. There is no going back after the leaks occur and poison our water. I just wonder why it is that this NO-BRAINER travesty is still being considered. It’s time for green energy to be the focus of future investments. Call me crazy, but I think it is more important to protect our limited natural resources than continue pushing the agenda of a greedy industry that should be switching over to cleaner methods of producing energy.

  27. Good on the Dems.

    Then, after the GOP defeats all of the amendments, and sends the KXL to the President, he damned-well better VETO it. And then, those same Dems damned-well better SUSTAIN that veto!

    I am tired of playing nice with the GOP, and the Dems will lose me if they don’t STAND UP AND FIGHT!

  28. Bear in mind that the Koch brothers hold the majority of the leases on the land that holds the oil.

    So guess who benefits most?

    Keep your eyes on the prize, people…

  29. High-speed job creation for California
    But despite the qualms voiced about the high-speed rail line, it’s reasonable to expect that if the project sticks to its core commitments, it could become one of the greatest economic development programs in the state’s history, providing both a train system that will benefit Californians for generations and tens of thousands of new, good U.S. and California jobs.

  30. Agree, I’m still not for this….hello dirty tar sands and climate change! And what about the Native Americans that are dead against this pipeline running through their sacred tribal lands.
    Reminder: Ogallala Aquifer, the largest ground water supply covering 8 states supplying drinking water and water to our bread basket, our mid western crops…..putting all this at risk? NO!

  31. I don’t see ANY benefit from the Keystone Pipeline.
    I don’t think Democrats should get their hands dirty on this environmental loser.
    Canada has oil spills several times a year.
    What are the Democrats thinking?
    Eminent Domain will destroy land ownership throughout the route, for landowners who have had land in their family for generations.
    Not to mention the destruction of the largest fresh water aquifer in the USA, the Ogalalla water aquifer.
    WAKE TF UP Democrats!

  32. The republicans still have this idea that they can bully the president do what they want and they are taking bets and just can’t wait to see who will win. They need to take their blinders off because the president isn’t the same as he was six years ago, he has nothing to hold him back now, and he is determine he will get most of what done for the good of the american people. The republicans will just keep making themselves look even worst and if they aren’t careful they will destroy their own party. They will have themselves an the teaparty to blame, not the president.

  33. And Obama holds the veto pen. If you want your goddam pipeline, you have to compromise, or go pound (tar)sand, assholes.

  34. But the beauty now is, LET them go around crowing about 30,000 jobs if it means 30,000 jobs for green, renewable energy. If that makes Repubs nervous, they have two choices… keep inflating the numbers and create inflated alternative jobs or revise those jobs numbers downward and expose the exaggeration. It’s win/win for Dems.

  35. Well, they need to include that the Canadian Oil Company is responsible for any spills or environmental problems the pipeline might create.

  36. Ryan Cooper’s overview of the Republican “jobs” agenda which is pinned on two items which won’t boost jobs by much at all. One of them is the GOP’s Keystone XL obsession:

    How many long-term jobs? Fifty. That’s right, 50 whole long-term jobs. (One more, and the pipeline would have to get health insurance for them! Unless they hired veterans, I suppose.)
    Furthermore, the argument that Keystone XL would help by lowering gas prices just had the legs kicked out from under it, with the price of oil plummeting towards $50 per barrel with no sign of stopping. This was always a bogus argument, since the pipeline is a drop in the bucket compared to world supply, but now it makes even less sense.

    To get a sense of the bigger picture, the U.S. economy pumped out probably close to three million jobs total last year. The GOP’s proposals, if enacted, will fail to make more than a small ripple in the job market.

  37. This is the real irony: that the GOP while being completely inept at governing politically, are masterful at producing and constructing politcal narratives; including the existence of a liberal media—-which seems always willing and ready to latch onto its viewpoints, and which allows said viewspoints to exist, again and again with no scutiny of their worth or merit.

    This so-alled liberal media which can’t seem to bring itself to point out that this pipeline is moving forein oil across the US, to be sold on foreign markets is the GOP’S greatest lie, as no truly liberal media benefits from being a pawn in conservative lies. It is money which is buying silence, and making things like Keystone ultimately be championed in cause, by the most vocal groups on the left, because the mainstream media has ceased to do its job.

  38. At some point Republicans have to listen if they want a bill passed. They don’t have the votes to override President Obama’s veto. The days of all or nothing are over.

  39. I couldn’t agree more. I wish the whole pipeline idea would be given up (I’m Canadian, btw, and the vast majority of Canadians object to it and have been protesting for years). We in North America have got to loosen our dependence on fossil fuels, once and for all. And the pipeline doesn’t even have to go through the U.S. at all. There are large backers here who want it to go east to the Atlantic; bypassing the states altogether, as well as those who want to take it to the Pacific to sell to the oil-hungry Asian market. One quote I don’t understand in the article, however, is this: “Currently, the oil is destined to be sold overseas with the U.S. assuming all the risk while getting none of the rewards.”
    How do they figure the U.S. is assuming all of the risks, when the pipeline would be coming from Alberta? A great deal of the pipeline is on our side of the border and is just as much an environmental hazard as it would be anywhere else?
    I just hope they nix it for good on both si…

  40. I hope they publicize the names of the members of congress who vote against these common-sense amendments. And I hope the President makes acceptance of these amendments a condition of his signing the legislation.

  41. The dems know that the repugs won’t accept these amendments. It is simply the same “poison pill” game played by the repugs in all their so-called jobs bills. It’s a tit-for-tat stick that is being shoved up the GOP … Gotta love it.

  42. although any dem amendments proposed for the XL keystone would be rejected by the GOP, it is still an extremely brilliant move by the dems to expose the keystone for what it really is- a Koch brother money maker that plans on selling canadian oil to china with absolutely no benefits for americans and unthinkable risks for the nation… if that pipeline gets built, American gasoline prices will skyrocket in the west and affect the whole nation within months.

  43. Hope beautiful White Rock isn’t ruined, I had a great aunt that lived there from 1953 – 1999 when she passed at 89 years young. She was a tried and true Canadian liberal, from Hamilton. ON and would be out there protesting this pipeline.
    (great aunt = granddad’s sister)

    White Rock is the equivalent to California’s Laguna Beach and kind of artsey as well.

    I’m enjoying a cuppa Murchie’s tea as I type this.

  44. I love my liberal governor Jerry Brown part 4.
    Although the high speed train isn’t taking the correct route IMHO.
    It really should go along I-5, from LA through Oakland to Sacramento. But it’s going along CA-99 and a tranfer point just before Merced for a connection to SF.
    Oh and the Palmdale – Burbank 2nd proposed section, (which is different from the current map route along CA-14) will be about a 1/2 mile and 100 feet below my home.
    Am I concerned?…NOPE. I can’t wait for it to be built but I’ll be on SS by then.
    The children now will enjoy it as well as future generations.
    This is a very wise investment for California with my tax $$$.

  45. It will meet up with I-5 in Sacramento.

    I-5 is a heavily traveled route and boring as hell even with the obligatory stop at Harris Ranch.
    It would be beneficial for those insisting on DRIVING to see a high speed train barreling past.

  46. an addendum:

    If it went thru Oakland, the existing BART could be used to SF and there wouldn’t be a need for a connecting train route…but what do I know, I just live here [WINK]

  47. They should also stick in one amendment that has nothing at all to do with the pipeline, like maybe a minimum wage increase. I mean the GOP did it for the last 6 years, and it was more than just one.

  48. Donna….What are you talking about?? It’s not the Dems that want that pipeline. It’s all the Kochheads and wealthy pigs that have invested in that Canadian company that want it. They, unlike Dems don’t give a rat’s ass whether they pollute our largest aquifer. All they care about is money in their pockets. There will be NO benefit to Americans from that pipeline. There WILL be immense harm to American air, water, and land. DEMS don’t want that pipeline. Wake up yourself!

  49. But what if the Republicans RE-flip the script, and allow all these amendments to the bill that Obama has vowed to veto?

  50. It wont happen because they are so full of racial hatred they would never bring themselves to do anything that Obama supports even though they supported the same proposals in the past

  51. Marie, the Republicans have already destroyed their own party. They aren’t even a shadow of what they used to be. Since the fell in love with the Tea Party agenda, all bets are off. They may as well just change their whole platform to Tea Party. Funny thing is, the Tea Party has no allegiance to either of the old parties. We shall see what’s to come of all this. Apparently Obama plans to veto the Keystone XL Pipeline bill. My biggest worry is that he will sign the TPP Trade Agreement dreamed up by none other than Charles & David Koch and their wealthy pals. If the Pres. signs that Agreement, America is dead and the Oligarchy will own us.

  52. Andy, I hate to burst your bubble of affection for Jerry Brown. After what I learned I voted for him anyway because his opponent was total Tea Party and advertised that he would toss the Rapid Rail idea completely. BUT, are you aware that Jerry Brown took $200,000 from big oil to allow fracking in California? First, California generally allows the people to vote on everything. Secondly, if fracking causes small earthquakes in Oklahoma, imagine what it might bring in California? I lived through the 6.7 Northridge quake and don’t wish to experience another. But, considering Obama gets the blame for everything, people are now calling the San Andreas Fault Obama’s Fault.

  53. If Obama plans to Veto the Bill, that’s our only hope. But now that the Dems have finally gotten enough guts to fight back aside from begging via email for funding for candidates, we can only hope they will continue fighting back. That’s what should have happened the moment the Tea Party infiltrated Congress and the Supreme Court with their corporate agenda. And those of us who vote Democratic, we need to open our mouths as well and let it be known to President Obama that signing the TPP Trade Agreement will turn this and eleven other nations over into the hands of the Oligarchy. Bad news there. And while we’re at it, perhaps we should demand that the nation’s police forces return the gifts the Pentagon gave them to scare the crap out of us with in hopes of preventing an uprising when the corporations take full control. And you know there will be an uprising.

  54. although we accepted, but FILIBUSTERED by senator Warren, the dismantling of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street bill rewritten by CitiBank (a poison pill), budget bill to prevent a govt shutdown.

    it will be 2007 all over again and then I hope my beautiful liberal California will secede and say buh-bye. Afterall we are the 7th largest economy in the world and we’ll be just fine. Wanna join us here?

  55. I also lived thru the Northridge earthquake in the east San Fernando Valley.
    And watched the electric transformers explode, lighting up the dark valley sky at 4:31am.

    The CA fracking bill didn’t pass the liberal majority legislature (wish it was a super-majority) and gov Brown would’ve signed it if passed. He is very much for the CA environment, just like his father gov Pat Brown ’59-’67.

    I did sign the petition urging my reps to vote yes on the anti-fracking bill (both of mine voted yes BTW)so we are at a stand still. Gov Brown is urging them to pass it, but he can do only so much without the legislature.

  56. Not one Democrat thought of requiring an interstate highway to be constructed alongside the pipeline. That would create jobs and fill a need for a new north-south highway in the middle of the U.S. They already have to build roads to build the pipeline. Why not make use of that effort. The utility road could be a frontage road with the interestate a safe distance from the pipeline!!! THINK CONGRESS!

  57. Sorry, this is just putting lipstick on a pig. Keystone XL should not be built. It’s about a little thing called the environment.

    You want jobs? We need a lot of infrastructure work in this country …

  58. I’ll admit it looks good on paper, but the environmental concerns are enough to make me oppose the pipeline. We can’t afford to poison the aquifers that provide our drinking water.

  59. Canada has forbid oil tar sands be sent through any pipelines existing in Canada because it has destroyed the enviroment, poisoned wells and killed people. The oil tar sands are very acidic, much mors than coal or any other oil and when mixed with the chemicals to make is more soluable to send through the pipelines makes it even more toxic. It eats holes in their pipelines and leaks all over the place. so they said lets get the dumb assed Republicans Koch brothers to build a pipeline and we can send our poison through America and we will not have to clean up any more spills and stop destoying our enviroment. The Keystone Pipeline is a death nell for the areas it will be travelling through if built. The Keystone project is a death sentence for nature, farmers, water wells, animals of all kinds including humans and all for what, why money in the Koch brothers bank accounts.

  60. The minute you save “environmental concern” these GOPers and their spin media Fox floods the airwaves with the typical liberal bashing stuff. Withe the additions to the pipeline project the Republicans are forced on record to kick out line by line things that would benefit regular Americans. I would have preferred American voting out every GOPer up for election this past cycle but this might be the next next thing.

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