May 22, 2013

House Republicans Push Bill Waiving U.S. Permit for Foreign Pipeline Company



What’s next, deeming driver’s licenses issued?


WASHINGTON, D.C. – In what U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) termed as a “mockery” of the importance of building the Keystone XL Pipeline in the U.S., the House today debated Republican backed legislation that says the project does not even require a permit, deeming the proposal approved.

Rahall, a proponent of building the Keystone XL Pipeline who supported pro-pipeline legislation numerous times in the past, called the measure a “bumper sticker bill” that “the right-wing high jacked” compared to a more reasonable approach taken during the last Congress.

“I want to see this pipeline built,” Rahall stated during today’s House debate.  “But it will not be under this proposal.  Waiving permits. Deeming permit applications approved. For a foreign company?  We do not even do that for domestic companies. 

“Everybody in this country understands you need a permit for certain activities.  You need a permit to drive.  You need a permit to mine coal, to build a highway, to construct a shopping mall.  You even need a permit, a license, to get married.”

The pipeline proposal is being advanced by Calgary, Canada, based TransCanada.  The proposed pipeline would transport tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to refineries in the Gulf Coast.  It requires a permit to cross the international border between Canada and the U.S.

Rahall had supported Republican-sponsored legislation during the last Congress which would have placed a deadline on the issuance or denial of the permit.  The bill considered by the House today simply eliminates the requirement for a permit.

During House debate, Rahall stated: “It boils down to this: right-wing politics trumping what is right, what is correct, and what is just for this pipeline to proceed through the permitting process.  To be built.  To put people to work. So let’s get serious.  Let’s dispense with the Kindergarten tactics.  Too much is on the line here.  While the promoters of this bill play politics, I can assure them that this is no laughing matter in the heartland of America.”