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  • bluecheese4u bluecheese4u May 7, 2012 8:07 PM Flag

    Pipeline politics on display as highway bill talks begin

    Pipeline politics on display as highway bill talks begin

    By Ben Geman and Andrew Restuccia - 05/07/12 07:15 PM ET

    State of play: House and Senate negotiators will begin talks Tuesday to hammer out differences between the two chambers’ transportation funding bills — and the Keystone XL pipeline hangs in the balance.

    The House plan approves a permit for TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Alberta-to-Texas pipeline despite a White House veto threat.

    The Senate proposal omits the provision, which is more to the liking of a White House that wants to push review of the politically explosive project past the elections.

    Look for Republicans — backed by oil companies and business groups — to push for inclusion of Keystone in a final House-Senate deal.

    But they face an uphill battle, and the Senate Democratic negotiating team, which outnumbers Senate Republicans eight to six, is the first line of defense for opponents of tethering the pipeline to the highway bill.

    Among those eight Democrats, only Sen. Max Baucus (Mont.) has voted in favor of including Keystone in the bill, but he has signaled that he’s unlikely to insist on the provision.

    Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), a member of the conference committee, has said he believes Senate Democrats would stick together against including the pipeline.

    Rockefeller, who chairs the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, reiterated in the Capitol Monday that he does not see Keystone making the final cut.

    The conferees will gather at 3 p.m. in the Hart Senate building.

    Setting the bar low ...

    Speaking of Rockefeller, he warned reporters not to expect too much from the opening meeting of the House-Senate negotiations Tuesday.

    “People give speeches and they get up and leave. It is just going to be about the most boring thing you have ever covered,” he said in the Capitol Monday evening.

    But there could be some hope. “There may,” he allowed, “be some interesting things in the speeches.”

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    • Why are they holding up the pipeline? It makes no sense at all. Is it this global warming crap again? We need to take back control. They are making a joke of real science and scientists. Everywhere you turn they are pushing all kinds of BS using fake science for their propaganda. People need to write write to their leaders and give them a piece of their minds and get this moving. We need the jobs and the energy. Stop sending it all to the middle east. Democrats or republicans doesn't matter.

      • 1 Reply to rob61615
      • The devastation from the Tar Sand excavations up in Canada is truly amazing and I am not much of an Environmentalist. They will literally destroy an area bigger than Pennsylvania and ruin several huge rivers, etc. But if we don't take the oil then the Chinese will so in the end I don't know that it makes any difference. I'd be a lot happier if they got the oil from offshore drilling and left the tar sands alone, but what do I know.

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