Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said Tuesday that she would continue to put pressure on the administration to speed up its review of the Keystone XL pipeline.
“I intend to see if we can push forward the approval of the Keystone pipeline,” Landrieu told reporters after a meeting the senator held with Premier Alison Redford of Alberta, Canada, to discuss a way forward on the pipeline, which, if built, would bring crude from Alberta’s oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries.
“The ball is in our court and I hope the United States will make a decision,” Landrieu said. “So I’m going to be calling over to the State Department, pushing the State Department. While the premier can’t do that, members of Congress most certainly can.”
State is currently working to complete an environmental-impact assessment of the project. Once that report has been released, President Obama has final authority to approve or reject the proposal, but that hasn’t stopped members of Congress from weighing in on the decision.
“The Keystone pipeline should have been approved years ago,” Landrieu said, forcefully. “It needs to be approved as soon as possible.”
Environmental groups say the pipeline would hasten oil-sands extraction and increase greenhouse-gas emissions.
Landrieu pushed back against such claims, however, arguing that transporting oil via a pipeline would be better for the environment, and safer, than shipment by rail.
“Right now we’re putting this oil in trains. It’s more dangerous to the atmosphere, causing more greenhouse gases, and much more dangerous to people,” she said, adding: “I don’t really understand the environmental arguments at all relative to this.”
The president has said he will only approve the project if it does not substantially add to atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide.
During her trip to Washington, Redford also met with House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., as well as Kerri-Ann Jones, the assistant secretary of State for oceans and international environmental and scientific affairs .
What We're Following See More »
Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.
Donald Trump probably isn't taking seriously John Oliver's suggestion that he quit the race. But he has canceled or rescheduled rallies amid questions over his stance on immigration. Trump rescheduled a speech on the topic that he was set to give later this week. Plus, he's also nixed planned rallies in Oregon and Las Vegas this month.
Donald Trump's Fox News brain trust keeps growing. After it was revealed that former Fox chief Roger Ailes is informally advising Trump on debate preparation, host Sean Hannity admitted over the weekend that he's also advising Trump on "strategy and messaging." He told the New York Times: “I’m not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States. I never claimed to be a journalist.”
"Donald Trump's campaign and the Republican party will coordinate more closely going forward, with the GOP's top communicator and chief strategist Sean Spicer increasingly working out of Trump campaign headquarters, the campaign confirmed Sunday."
In a statement released Friday morning, the Trump campaign announced that Paul Manafort has resigned as campaign chairman. The move comes after fresh questions had been raised about Manafort's work in Russia and Ukraine, and Trump brought in Stephen Bannon "as a de facto demotion for Manafort."