Hmmm … what a surprise.
After search lights pierced through fossil foolish interests misrepresentations re how Keystone XL pipeline likely wouldn’t create any net new American jobs, how the State Department mishandled the Keystone pipeline review (without, for example, paying serious attention to tar sand oil’s serious Climate Chaos implications, putting a single non-expert as “the” State Department employee on the review, and hiring companies intimately tied to pipeline interests to do the review), and how the pipeline’s highly polluting oil would likely end up going to China (rather than in U.S. McSUVs), the mounting protests and political implications surrounding the pipeline were able to push the Obama Administration into additional review process that will likely lead to a non-approval of this pollution-enabling project.
After that, Republican interests beholden to polluters went to work seeking paths to force through this pipeline — no matter what expert review found in terms of its negative economic, jobs, and environmental implications.
In the House, now, is an effort to legislate an end-run around expert analysis and full review of this project’s implications for American security.
As per Think Progress Green
Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), the biggest proponent of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline in Congress, expects a bill stripping President Obama of authority over the pipeline’s approval and giving it to the Federal Electricity Reliability Commission will be folded into the year-end House unemployment/payroll tax holiday package, according to Politico’s Darren Goode.
As Terry explained that his legislation was intended to put the Keystone XL pipeline decision in the hands of the real experts:
Terry said FERC is better equipped than the State Department to handle the pipeline. “FERC is the expert agency in pipelines, pipeline safety, pipeline siting,” Terry said in explaining the effort to take away the State Department’s authority.
While there are many bizaare aspects of Terry’s legislation (it essentially says that a national decision should defer to the Nebraska legislature as “Terry told reporters Friday that Nebraska environmental regulators can complete an assessment of the new route within six months. FERC would then have 30 days after receiving the state environmental assessment to issue a permit.”), the real kicker is Terry’s assertion as to why this legislation action is appropriate. According to Terry, “FERC is the expert agency in pipelines …” According to FERC,
“We don’t handle pipeline safety,” Mary O’Driscoll, FERC’s director of media relations,. “We have no jurisdiction.”
Wow, the Federal Electric Utility Commission