Senate Hearing Puts Keystone Pipeline in Spotlight

US Senator Robert Menendez, D-NJ, speaks as he introduces Defense Department general counsel Jeh Johnson to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee for Johnson's nomination to be Homeland Security secretary in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on November 13, 2013 in Washington, DC. 
National Journal
Ben Geman
March 10, 2014, 4:26 a.m.

Sen­ate For­eign Re­la­tions Com­mit­tee Chair­man Robert Men­en­dez is fi­nally mak­ing good on his long-stand­ing pledge to hold a hear­ing on the pro­posed Key­stone XL pipeline.

The com­mit­tee will hear Thursday from pipeline op­pon­ents and boost­ers at a hear­ing on the pro­ject and the State De­part­ment’s on­go­ing re­view to de­term­ine wheth­er ap­prov­ing it would be in the “na­tion­al in­terest.”

It ar­rives more than a year after Men­en­dez, a New Jer­sey Demo­crat who op­poses the pipeline, first said he planned to put the pro­ject un­der the com­mit­tee’s mi­cro­scope at some point.

Wit­nesses will be evenly split on Key­stone. Si­erra Club Ex­ec­ut­ive Dir­ect­or Mi­chael Brune and former NASA cli­mate sci­ent­ist James Hansen, who has been ap­pear­ing be­fore Con­gress to dis­cuss glob­al warm­ing since the 1980s, will testi­fy against the pro­ject.

Sev­er­al years ago Hansen, who is af­fil­i­ated with the Columbia Uni­versity’s Earth In­sti­tute, said that fully ex­ploit­ing Al­berta’s vast oil sands re­sources would be “game over” for the cli­mate.

The phrase has be­come a ral­ly­ing cry for act­iv­ists op­pos­ing Tran­sCanada’s pro­posed pipeline to bring crude oil from Al­berta across the bor­der to Gulf Coast re­finer­ies.

Kar­en Har­bert, who is pres­id­ent of the U.S. Cham­ber of Com­merce’s In­sti­tute for 21st Cen­tury En­ergy and a former En­ergy De­part­ment of­fi­cial un­der Pres­id­ent George W. Bush, will make the pro-Key­stone case.

So will re­tired Gen. James Jones, who was Pres­id­ent Obama’s na­tion­al se­cur­ity ad­viser.

He’s one of sev­er­al former Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials who fa­vor the pro­ject, al­though a num­ber of ex-aides, in­clud­ing former cli­mate czar Car­ol Brown­er, are bat­tling Key­stone too.

The hear­ing does not in­clude any Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion wit­nesses.

What We're Following See More »
SUPPORTERS’ RALLY
Sanders Supporters Boo When He Mentions Clinton-Kaine
28 minutes ago
THE LATEST

Perhaps this talk of unity has been overstated. Addressing a room full of his supporters today, Bernie Sanders heard "sustained boos" when he said he said it was essential that we elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.

Source:
ALL EYES ON RUSSIANS
FBI Investigating DNC Hack
42 minutes ago
THE LATEST

The FBI this morning issued a statement saying it is "investigating a cyber intrusion involving the DNC," adding that "a compromise of this nature is something we take very seriously." Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton's campaign is suggesting that the hack "was committed by Russia to benefit Donald Trump."

Source:
NEED 300 DELEGATE SIGNATURES
Sanders Delegates Threaten to Challenge Kaine Pick
58 minutes ago
THE LATEST

A group of delegates loyal to Bernie Sanders is actively exploring how to challenge Tim Kaine's nomination for the vice presidency. A lead of the group "said he hoped the Democratic National Committee releases information within hours on how to submit a challenger to Kaine, which he said would require the signatures of 300 delegates. He said they have until Wednesday morning to file a challenge to Kaine and stressed that while his group would take any requests from the Sanders campaign under consideration, the delegate group is an independent organization."

Source:
JOHNSON PULLING 26%
A Three-Way Race in Utah?
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Here are some more numbers out of Utah that should frighten Donald Trump—and give hope to Gary Johnson. "An internal poll conducted for Rep. Mia Love two weeks ago found Trump at 29 percent, Clinton at 27 percent" and Libertarian candidate Johnson at 26 percent. "That was, however, before Trump picked Indiana Gov. Mike Pence." Utah party chairman James Evans said that move ought to clinch the state for Trump. "Utahns are going to come through because the level of distaste for Hillary is so deep," he said.

Source:
COUNTERPROGRAMMING
Trump Making Swing State Push This Week
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Trump will try to steal some of Hillary Clinton's thunder during the Democratic National Convention here this week with a slate of swing-state appearances that will test the appeal of his new running mate. ... Pence will join the GOP presidential nominee at stops in Virginia and North Carolina on Monday, Florida on Tuesday and Pennsylvania on Wednesday, according to a campaign schedule. Other GOP allies will hover around Philadelphia for counterprogramming during the Democratic gathering."

Source:
×