So why is this happening? Basically, the legislative hostage taking is already happening again. US Senate Republicans are moving to attach Keystone XL approval to a critical transportation bill. And unfortunately, a few wayward Blue Dog Democrats are joining in on this idiocy. And yes, this is pure idiocy.
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.
And what would we get out of all this? Not much. No really, the job creation estimates from TransCanada (the Canadian oil giant behind Keystone XL) and its right wing allies have proven to be overblown at best, and potentially radically deceitful. So why on earth do we want to exacerbate the climate crisis, expose the Midwest to toxic oil spills, and wind up creating very few (if any) permanent jobs?
That's why it's critical that we sign 350.org's petition to The Senate and let them know we can't take any more of this Keystone crap. Here's the note I attached to my signature.
Please stop this madness already! If approved, Keystone XL would do next to nothing to create good permanent jobs. However, it would cause terrible permanent damage to our planet. We can't afford this boondoggle, so Congress needs to stop wasting time on this nonsense.
And to amplify our voices some more, it's probably also a good idea to directly contact our Senators. Call Harry Reid at 202-224-3542 and Dean Heller at 202-224-6244, and ask them to oppose the frivolous Keystone XL Amendment. Also make sure to tweet them at @SenatorReid and @DeanHeller. And hopefully in the next 24 hours, we can make sure this dirty pipeline is gone for good.
UPDATE, 11:10 AM-
In case you're at a loss for words when you send an email or make a call today, please feel free to use some of what I just wrote to Heller and Reid.
Please, Senator, reject the frivolous Keystone XL Amendment to the transportation bill. Independent studies have shown TransCanada's proposed pipeline through America's heartland would create few, if any, (net) permanent jobs if approved. However, it could cause plenty of permanent damage in the form of massive oil spills and reliance on dirty tar sands oil. Especially when we have the potential to create many more clean energy jobs right here in Nevada, why should we waste any more time on this?
And if you're looking for even more 411 on Keystone XL, the Nevada Rural Democratic Caucus blog has more on how this would kill wildlife, and essentially the entire ecosystem, in Western Canada.