Keystone Supporters, Foes Race to Influence Pipeline Decision
Now that President Obama has signed the payroll-tax extension that gives him 60 days to decide whether to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline, the industry is ramping up efforts to ensure the controversial project is green lighted.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for 21st Century Energy has joined with over 200 businesses from 12 states to form the Partnership to Fuel America. The group will push for Keystone approval and other projects that develop North American energy.
"If the president is serious about job creation and energy security, now it the time to act on the Keystone XL pipeline," Chamber president Thomas Donohue said in a statement Tuesday calling on Obama to approve the pipeline. "This is the perfect example of a shovel-ready project that makes sense for our economy."
The American Petroleum Institute will also include pipeline promotion as part of its larger "State of American Energy" campaign, which API president Jack Gerard will launch with a speech at the Newseum on Jan. 4. New API ads promoting energy independence will also start running in January.
Environmental groups have also been mobilizing since House Republicans got the pipeline provision attached to the payroll-tax extension. They have been publicizing the environmental problems they say will emerge if the pipeline is approved and arguing that the project will not create as many jobs as the oil and gas industry says.
House Speaker John Boehner "is trying to satisfy Big Oil's lobbyists and some of the GOP's top corporate donors by forcing the president to make a hasty decision, but it will backfire," the National Wildlife Federation's Jeremy Symons wrote in a blog post last week.