Keystone delay a political move, Republicans say
December 17th, 2011
06:00 AM ET
3 years ago

Keystone delay a political move, Republicans say

(CNN) - Republicans called on President Barack Obama to make a decision on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline in their weekly address Saturday, saying the delay was a result of political calculations.

Speaking for his party, Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso said the project has received wide support, except from Obama's political base.

"Everyone from members of the United States Chamber of Commerce to members of labor unions support this project," Barrasso said. "But the President has threatened to veto this bill because the pipeline is opposed by a number of extreme environmental groups. These are the same groups who in the past have supported the President and he needs their support for his reelection.

Barrasso asserted it was "time for the President to stop playing politics."

Opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transmit oil from Canadian tar sands in Alberta to refineries on America's Gulf Coast, has come under fire from environmental groups who say the project would impact communities along the route and promote the use of non-renewable energy.

The Senate is expected to vote Saturday on a provision to speed up a decision on the pipeline as part of a larger proposal to extend the payroll tax cut by two months.


Filed under: Congress • Energy • John Barrasso
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Tony in Maine

    There's nothing like the flavor of tar in the water to make a great cup of coffee.

    Is there nothing Republicans won't do or say for a buck?

    December 17, 2011 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  2. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    These radical extremist Big Oil puppets took Pell grants away from your college kids America. Can you afford that? Wake up. Wipe the GOBP teabaggers out on Nov 6 2012.

    December 17, 2011 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  3. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    If the eco-nazis had their way, we'd all still be living in caves–with a whole lot of draconian laws concerning the size and location of the fires we could build, the types of wood it was okay to burn, a three-hundred page regulation on what to do with the ashes, limits on the number of logs we could burn, all preceded by getting approval in triplicate from the Fire Control Agency, the Wood Allocation Agency, the Ash and Embers Administration, and the Department of Equal Opportunity for Warmth,, a process that could take three years. By which time we would all have frozen to death anyway.

    December 17, 2011 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  4. Johnson

    People are delusional if they think that this pipeline will create permanent good jobs. The pipeline will create thousands of temporary jobs to construct the pipeline itself, permanent jobs will only be there for a few people at the processing station. This pipeline will NOT do anything to curve fuel prices at the pump. This hole thing is the republicans holding the tax bill hostage with the pipeline to satisfy their oil buddies so that their oil buddies can have their cake and eat it to. If we build and run this pipeline we WILL find years down the road that it did nothing to help anyone.

    Obama 2012

    December 17, 2011 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  5. JustMe

    If this is really the big deal GOP says it is then why is it that I have only started to hear about it in the last couple weeks? If it were truly such a big deal why hasn't the GOP out there promoting it for months instead of just the last couple weeks?

    December 17, 2011 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  6. Phillip

    The U.S. needs Canadian oil to help supply shortages and to mitigate political insecurity. Political risk is a serious contributing factor in oil price variation. Continued reliance on Saudi Arabia or the Citgo (Venezuela) will not help U.S. consumers. Canadian oil comes from a country that is open, willing and friendly to U.S. interests and is more than willing to make US refineries partners in oil projects. It's a win-win.

    December 17, 2011 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  7. Anonymous

    "Wide base of support" simply translates into "this is a powerful special interest that has spread a lot of money around, and in today's corrupted American government that should be enough for approval, even though the project isn't really viable." This pipeline is a classic swindle. The fact is, there will soon be a huge over-capacity of these pipelines if Keystone is approved.

    December 17, 2011 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  8. DixonIV

    Obama is being influenced by those nasty "extreem environmental groups". My goodness why do they want to attempt to prevent, rather than, clean up the mess made by so many oil company catastrophies we have to fix. I guess that is opposed to who the republican base like the Chamber of Commerce who always look out for the people, or those so called "union thugs" they always gripe about. Now we need to listen to them. Give me a break Senator, you all have been holding the country hostage to appease your base, the tea party and big money for decades. You know those who want all government reduced except the part that benifits and enriches their pocket books. What a bunch of hypocrites.

    December 17, 2011 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  9. Namejkane

    The flat earth teapublican clowns that don't care about the ground water under the pipeline route through the Midwest that could effect numerous states water supplies ,I guess forgot about the gulf oil spill already,the delay is for a study for a detour around the danger area so as to not effect the aquafier under these states and would only ad d about 5000 temporary jobs. Would you trust the republicans and the oil companies , I wouldn't. Most of that oil is for export so who benifets besides the teapublicans and their oil company masters. We can wait a year and have it done wright!!!!

    December 17, 2011 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  10. ZB

    It is a testament to the lunacy of the Republican/Tparty that they think opposition to a pipeline carrying one of the most highly polluting energy sources through a major water aquifer in the heart of a major agricultural region and will actually only provide a few thousand jobs comes from extremists. It only goes to demonstrate that under the Republican/Tparty the country would be turned into an environmental disaster just like China for the sake of the Koch Bros making more profits.

    The pipeline is fraught with many legitimate issues by a diverse group of interests. The owner is in the midst of seeking alternative routes to address those issues. The real politics of this is from the Republican/Tparty that wants to jump into a project that has serious issues before they have a chance to be resolved and push to attach this to a bill about a middleclass tax cut. Once again we are reminded that it is not Washington that is so dysfunctional but rather the Republian/Tparty that fights for tax cuts to the wealthy and does everything possible to stand in the way of tax cuts and benefits for everyone else.

    December 17, 2011 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  11. Chris

    And Republicans tacking on the pipline to a bill meant for middle class payroll deductions was not a political move?

    I swear, the blatant hypocrisy of the GOP is galling! They should change their mascot from the elephant to the hippo.

    December 17, 2011 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  12. John

    And what do you think the Republican are doing. They are just protecting the Big oil company, just like they do for the RICH and big business. The Republican have long for got who they really work for. And If the American People ever wise up than the Republican will not be In control of anything. And If they don't than the Middle Class will no longer be ,only the POOR and the RICH.

    December 17, 2011 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  13. Marie MD

    No, not everyone supports this pipeline. Polls, if you are to believe in them, say the contrary.
    If anyone is playing politics and adding provisions they could not pass if hell froze over are the teapublikans.
    We need to let congress know that blackmailing the country and what is best for the poor and middle class will hurt their chances come the next election and beyond!!!

    December 17, 2011 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  14. dave oldread

    canada has threatened to go west with the pipeline, ...like to see them try, the rockies are way to tuff, remember canada would have already done it with thier other nat. resoures. and second , yes it is the repblican party working for big oil, saying that canada was going to refine it and send it to china was wrong.....now we are going to have the envirmental prob's that come with the pipe line, then we will rifine it , then we will ship it our of the country to china,and rhe gop will get more money from the big oil companys, remember the oil pipe line that popped right after the bp spill, it rolled down a river and destroyed everything for 25 years , but the oil company says nature will be ok, how would you like to take your kids fishing there ?

    December 17, 2011 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  15. Anthony

    Stop complaining. Political moves are what politicians do. The delay of the automatic cuts to the budget until after 2012 election is also a political move, so that politicians do not have to face the voters before the election. They don't want to tell the voters that unless the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire, the budget has to be balanced by cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicare. These programs were started before the Obama Administration. They don't want to tell the voters that cutting Obama's health care program will not help, because the 950 billion price tag is spread over 10 years, and repealing Obama's health care program also repeals the revenue it raises. For example, according to the CBO, in 2016 Obama's plan will spend 95 billion, but it will raise 78 billion, largely from new taxes on the wealthy and new fees on the health care industry. Thus, the net saving for 2016 is about 17 billion, not 95 billion as Romney had said.

    December 17, 2011 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  16. dave oldread

    my main point here is ,we the people are not going to see one drop of this oil, the jobs will go away once its built,and we will be fueling china for the take over of america,this is what the gop wants to fuel the take over of america.

    December 17, 2011 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  17. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    After the Bush/republicans lost 8 million jobs in Bush's last three years, I can see why the republicans think that the 6500 temporary jobs that the Keystone project creates is a big deal. Republicans should be impeached for bringing our country down.

    December 17, 2011 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  18. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The GOP is willing to shut down government just to embarrass our president. We can thank the GOP for our downgrade and our near depression. It is like republicans have taken a page out of al Qaida's playbook.

    December 17, 2011 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  19. kevin

    This guy just like the rest of the GOP has the nerve to say the president is playing politics when it is their party that has been playing politics ever since "we the people" elected president Obama. Need I remind you senator of what your minority leader said and I quote "our single most important objective is to make Barack Obama a one term president", Not help the American people, Not make our lives better, but obstruct a president whom "we the people elected". I'm a veteran and in my circles what the GOP has done since the election of this President would be considered TREASON.

    December 17, 2011 08:58 am at 8:58 am |