Monday, February 16, 2015


Weekly Opinion Editorial

by Steve Fair

     The Keystone Pipeline is a project that involves a 875-mile pipeline that would run from Morgan, Montana to Steele City, Nebraska. Building this northern link would allow over 800,000 barrels of oil per day to move from the Canada, to refineries on the Gulf Coast.  The opponents of the pipeline say it will increase greenhouse gas emissions and increase the risk of water pollution from spills.  Supporters say the pipeline is about national security and jobs.  The Obama administration has steadfastly opposed the pipeline since he was elected in 2008. 
      Last week, the U.S. Senate passed the Keystone Pipeline bill 62-36, with two Senators not voting, including Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who was reportedly fundraising in California.  Both Oklahoma Senators voted for the bill.  Nine Democrats joined 53 Republicans to vote for the bill. 
     Oklahoma U.S. Senator James Lankford released this statement about the bill; “The Keystone XL pipeline infrastructure project would infuse billions of dollars into our economy and it would support thousands of good-paying American jobs, all in an environmentally responsible way. The delay of this project has been far too long. Building a pipeline should not take an act of Congress. The Administration has blocked the pipeline for six years saying they are ‘studying’ the route. No other administration in history, of either party, has ever held up a private construction project like this Administration.”
     The U.S. House passed the Senate version on Wednesday, 270 to 152, with 10 members not voting.  All five Oklahoma Congressman voted for the bill. Twenty nine(29) Democrats joined 241 Republicans in the affirmative. 
     Congressman Tom Cole released this statement concerning Keystone: “While the president has stated his intention to veto this bipartisan, bicameral legislation, I hope that he reconsiders and chooses the way of the American people, rather than catering to environmental extremists.”
     President Obama has remained consistent and says he will veto Keystone when it reaches his desk.  It does not appear the GOP have the votes to overturn the veto.  They would need five more votes in the Senate and twenty more in the House.  Here are three reasons Keystone should be built:
     First, it is fundamentally Un-American for the government to block private business in a commercial act. Government regulations are one thing but if a president can stop private business from legally doing business, that is quite another.  No other president- in either party- has even attempted to stop legal commerce from being conducted by legal businesses.  This president has taken overreach to a new level.  If he is effective at stopping Keystone, it will establish a dangerous precedent for future leaders.    
     Second, building the pipeline will reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil.  That speaks to America’s national security.  When we buy oil from counties that support terrorism, we are in effect doing business with the enemy. 
     Third, the America people clearly support completing the Pipeline.  In five polls conducted by liberal media organizations, only about 25% of those polls said they opposed construction of the Pipeline.  Yet the President is firm that he opposes.  According to deputy press secretary Eric Schultz,  “The president has announced that he would oppose and veto any legislative maneuvering to circumvent the State Department’s review process, so he will indeed be vetoing it.” In a representative form of government, we expect our leaders to listen to us.  We want our elected officials to support what we support and oppose what we oppose.   
     Oklahoma’s elected representatives are firmly in support of Keystone and lobbying them is not really necessary, but if you have friends and family in other states, tell them to contact their Congressman and U.S. Senators.  If those elected officials believe their political future is in jeopardy if they don’t support Keystone, then a veto override is very possible.  There are certainly enough conservative Democrats in the House and Senate to override.  They just need a little nudge from the people.

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