Senate’s Approval of Keystone: A Shameful Demonstration of Misplaced Priorities

Statement of David Arkush, Managing Director, Public Citizen’s Climate Program 

Note: Today, the U.S. Senate approved by 62-36 the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. The bill now must be reconciled with a U.S. House of Representatives version before going to President Barack Obama.

The Senate’s passage of Keystone pipeline legislation today is a shameful demonstration of the new Republican majority’s misplaced priorities. Rather than respond to the climate crisis by fostering a quick transition to renewables – a policy that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save consumers money and create jobs – the majority’s first goal in this Congress has been to deny that humans are causing the climate crisis and pass a bill for a single fossil fuel company. What’s more, it is all for show, as the president has made clear he will veto the bill, and the fossil fuel caucus does not have the votes to override a veto.

Once he vetoes this bill, the president still must make a decision on Keystone – and he should reject it. The pipeline remains bad policy. It will endanger the U.S. natural environment, contribute to climate change and raise U.S. prices by shipping oil overseas, all to line the pockets of a foreign corporation.