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With Gas Prices Forecast To Soar, Will Dems Work With GOP To Approve Keystone XL Pipeline? | Missouri Political News Service

With Gas Prices Forecast To Soar, Will Dems Work With GOP To Approve Keystone XL Pipeline?

February 7th, 2012 by mopns · No Comments

USA Today reports, “Get ready for another round of pain at the pump: $4 (or higher) gasoline. . . . Prices could spike another 60 cents or more by May. ‘I think it’s going to be a chaotic spring, with huge price increases in some places,’ says Tom Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service. . . . Energy analyst Patrick DeHaan of price tracker Gasbuddy.com expects prices to rise to about $3.55 a gallon by the end of February and peak around $4 by Memorial Day weekend. ‘You could see prices in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Washington and other major metropolitan areas at $4.60 or higher,’ DeHaan says.”

Yet despite this and President Obama’s self-professed “all-of-the-above” approach to energy, he blocked the Keystone XL pipeline from going forward last month. Even though Keystone XL would allow more oil supplies to come from our friends in Canada and create tens of thousands of jobs in the United States, the president rejected the permit.

In 2009, when President Obama’s State Department approved a different pipeline to bring some oil from Canada, the department issued a press release saying, “Approval of the permit sends a positive economic signal, in a difficult economic period, about the future reliability and availability of a portion of United States’ energy imports, and in the immediate term, this shovel-ready project will provide construction jobs for workers in the United States.” As National Journal wrote last week, “These are the same arguments that proponents of the Keystone XL pipeline, led by congressional Republicans, cite as reason to approve that project without delay.”

No wonder some Democrat senators who support Keystone XL are confused. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) said to National Journal, “The same administration approved that one? … Then why aren’t they approving this one? I don’t know.”

Hopefully those in the president’s own party who say they disagree with him will be open to working with Republicans to create jobs and enhance energy security. According to Roll Call today, “With little guidance from Democratic leaders, Sen. Max Baucus (Mont.) is trying on his own to come up with bipartisan agreements on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline  . . . . Baucus, the top Democrat on the conference committee to reconcile House and Senate payroll tax cut bills, has been in talks with Republicans on the possibility of including a pipeline provision in the conference report . . . . Baucus — long a proponent for the Keystone XL pipeline — also has been engaged in ongoing talks with GOP Sens. John Hoeven (N.D.), Dick Lugar (Ind.) and David Vitter (La.), the three chief co-sponsors of a new Keystone bill that would authorize the project, which President Barack Obama rejected last month. . . . The Montana Democrat was heavily involved in the first version of the pipeline measure that ended up in the two-month extension passed in December.”

After the president rejected the Keystone XL permit, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell expressed his frustration, saying, “[T]he President had an opportunity to do something on his own about the ongoing jobs crisis. The only thing that stood in the way of the single-biggest shovel-ready infrastructure project in America was him. The Keystone pipeline was just the kind of project he’s been calling for in speeches for months. And he said no. That one could wait. Here was a project that he knew would create thousands of jobs instantly. He said no. A project that wouldn’t have cost the taxpayers a dime. He said no. That would have brought more energy from our ally Canada and less from the Middle East. He said no.”

Will Senate Democrats who say they support the pipeline work with Republicans to find a way to finally get the project moving so Americans can find jobs and have a more stable energy supply?



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