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
Add to Briefcase
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 »
FACES STIFF OPPOSITION FROM BOTH PARTIES
Trump Proposes 95 Percent Cut To Office of Drug Control Budget
35 minutes ago
THE LATEST

Trump wants to move the two grants, the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas grant and the Drug Free Communities Act, to the Justice and Health and Human Services departments, respectively. This would result in a $300 million plus reduction in funding, about 95 percent of the cost of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. "'I’m baffled at the idea of cutting the office or reducing it significantly and taking away its programs in the middle of an epidemic,'" said Regina LaBelle, who served as ONDCP chief of staff during the Obama administration. This is the second time the Trump Administration has proposed gutting the agency.

Source:
HOPES A DEAL CAN GET DONE
Schumer Meeting with Trump for Last-Ditch Meeting
1 hours ago
THE LATEST
BLURRY LINE BETWEEN BUSINESS/PRESIDENCY
New CREW Report Identifies 500 Conflicts of Interest in Trump’s First Year
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

A new report assembled by the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has identified more than 500 potential conflicts of interest in President Trump's first year. First, the report notes, Trump spent 122 days at his properties during his first year. He has been accompanied by 70 federal officials and 30 members of Congress. "Second, far from this signaled access to power being an empty promise, those who patronize President Trump’s businesses have, in fact, gained access to the president and his inner circle." Lastly, about 40 special interest groups and 11 foreign governments have held events at Trump properties.

Source:
BY SCALISE
House Told to “Stay Flexible”
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS
“NOT THE RIGHT TIME”
J.D. Vance Bows Out of Senate Run
3 hours ago
THE LATEST
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login