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"Build Keystone XL Or We'll Shut Down the Government" - Sierra Daily

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Sierra Daily

Sep 18, 2013

"Build Keystone XL Or We'll Shut Down the Government"

NattielampWhat do Congressional Republicans hate as much as Obamacare? This: the possibility that President Obama will nix the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada. Their current strategy re. Obamacare is to leave funding for the Affordable Care Act out of their upcoming stopgap spending bill and see if the Tea Party caucus in the Senate can persuade the Democratic majority to go along. Since the odds for that are vanishingly unlikely, the House leadership is adding further pie-in-the-sky demands to the bill--including construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

House GOP leaders will seek to advance the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline in legislation to raise the debt ceiling, lawmakers said Wednesday.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told reporters the bill would provide a “path forward” on the Keystone pipeline, but the specifics of the GOP Keystone plan were uncertain Wednesday.

President Obama's determination on whether building Keystone is in the national interest is not expected until next year. In June, he declared that "Our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution." To make his decision easier, the Sierra Club has put together a comprehensive report: "FAIL: How the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Flunks the Climate Test." It would make good reading for Eric Cantor and John Boehner as well.

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PAUL RAUBER is a senior editor at Sierra. He is the author, with Carl Pope, of the happily outdated Strategic Ignorance: Why the Bush Administration Is Recklessly Destroying a Century of Environmental Progress. Otherwise he is a cyclist, cook, and father of two. Follow him on Twitter @paulrauber

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