Landrieu Lobbies Hard for Keystone XL

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La. Landrieu is part of a Louisiana political dynasty. Her father, Moon Landrieu, was mayor of New Orleans in the 1970s, and her brother, Mitch Landrieu, is the city's current mayor. But Landrieu's 1995 run for governor was anything but a coronation. She finished a disappointing third place in the primary. But she recovered quickly, winning her Senate seat the following year.
National Journal
Clare Foran
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Clare Foran
Nov. 12, 2013, 4:16 p.m.

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 .

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