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Boehner Dismisses Nebraska Keystone XL Pipeline Concerns As ‘Nonsense,’ Says ‘All The Studies Are Done’ For Route That Hasn’t Been Decided

By Brad Johnson  

"Boehner Dismisses Nebraska Keystone XL Pipeline Concerns As ‘Nonsense,’ Says ‘All The Studies Are Done’ For Route That Hasn’t Been Decided"

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Appearing on on Sunday’s Meet the Press, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) defended the Republican decision to attach a two-month deadline for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline in the unrelated middle-class tax cut bill. He also repeated discredited, grossly inflated claims about the economic impact of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline project, which the State Department and independent estimates agree would create no more than 6000 temporary jobs, and possibly as few as 500.

Boehner dismissed as “nonsense” the State Department’s stated need to take more than two months to re-evaluate the impact of changing the pipeline’s Nebraska route. Plans for a new route have not even been submitted yet. Denying the obvious that the 60-day deadline would short-circuit oversight of a risky foreign oil pipeline, Boehner tried to make the oil-industry gift an election-year issue for President Obama:

GREGORY: White House officials I’ve talked to say you are guaranteeing that he’ll say no to this because the State Department has already said they can’t get the review done for the extension in that amount of time.

BOEHNER: That’s nonsense. David, it’s been going on for three years. All the studies are done. It’s gone through every part of the regulatory process. The only issue here is that the president doesn’t want to have to make this decision until after his election. Twenty thousand direct jobs, 100,000 indirect jobs, to build a pipeline from Canada down to the Gulf that would help our energy security, help produce more energy here in North America. This is the right thing to do, the American people support it, and the president shouldn’t continue just to put this off for his own election convenience.

Democratic leadership in the U.S. Senate kept the Keystone XL provision in a Saturday vote, despite President Obama’s earlier veto threat, which he appears to have rescinded.

Transcript:

GREGORY: I want to ask you about this pipeline. I want to remind our viewers what we’re talking about here. This is a proposed extension of an oil pipeline that starts up in Canada, goes down to the Gulf of Mexico. You want to say, look, we’ll extend it for a year if the president makes a quicker decision on this pipeline. White House officials I’ve talked to say you are guaranteeing that he’ll say no to this because the State Department has already said they can’t get the review done for the extension in that amount of time.

BOEHNER: That’s nonsense. David, it’s been going on for three years. All the studies are done. It’s gone through every part of the regulatory process. The only issue here is that the president doesn’t want to have to make this decision until after his election. Twenty thousand direct jobs, 100,000 indirect jobs, to build a pipeline from Canada down to the Gulf that would help our energy security, help produce more energy here in North America. This is the right thing to do, the American people support it, and the president shouldn’t continue just to put this off for his own election convenience.

GREGORY: But you think the State Department was misrepresenting the fact that they can’t do a review when there’s not even a proposed extension that’s finalized yet by the company involved?

BOEHNER: This was about to be approved last summer. So waiting and waiting and waiting is not the answer here. It is time to proceed with the pipeline.

GREGORY: If you really wanted this and not just the political issue, wouldn’t you make it possible for the president to have as much time as he needs to make the decision?

BOEHNER: No. He’s already had ample time. He’s just kicking this can down the road, same Washington nonsense because it may anger some people in his base.

‹ Clean Start: December 19, 2011

Keystone Cave? No, Keystone Kabuki ›

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