They shouldn’t be forced to issue a permit until they are satisfied on the environmental effects involved. So I think that point is valid. Whether that requires another six or eight months, that’s open to question. It is a good issue to try to get resolved some way or another. The American public would like to see us go ahead with the project to the extent they know what the project entails. It sounds meritorious. We’ve got pipelines all over the country. That is true with most members of Congress, too. I think most members of Congress probably would like to go ahead to get the issue resolved.
Bingaman’s claim about the American public’s support for the foreign tar sands project is incorrect. A recent poll from Hart Research Associates found that Americans who are informed about the pros and cons of the pipeline don’t want it built by a 14-point margin. Americans without this information — influenced by the extreme pro-pipeline bias in corporate media — support the pipeline by an 11-point margin.
Bingaman also rejected Republican claims that there is an “urgency about getting this permit approved,” because oil production is so high that the United States is a net exporter of petroleum products.
If built, the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would put six states at risk of toxic oil spills along its 1700-mile route, and would add about five billion tons of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere over its intended 50-year lifespan of bringing dirty crude from Alberta to Gulf Coast refineries for foreign export.
Other Democratic senators who have expressed support for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline include finance chair Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), budget chair Kent Conrad (D-ND), Jon Tester (D-MT), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mark Begich (D-AK), Ben Nelson (D-NE), and Claire McCaskill (D-MO). Nelson and Baucus have criticized Republican attempts to speed approval, while Manchin has signed on with the GOP.