The bill to force the Keystone pipeline through is on its way to President Obama after the House passed the final version, 270-152 yesterday. 29 Democrats voted in favor of the bill.
"Instead of listening to the people, the President is standing with a bunch of left-fringe extremists and anarchists. The president needs to listen to the American people and say yes! Let’s build the Keystone pipeline!" That’s what Speaker John Boehner said, referring to Obama’s promised veto.
While the House voted, 90 leading scientists and economists sent a letter to President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, urging them to "stop business as usual" and permanently reject Keystone.
Today, a Nebraska District Court stopped TransCanada from using eminent domain on private property until the state Supreme Court decides its constitutionality. The process could take two years.
"The only thing Congressional Republicans accomplished with this vote is a show of unflinching loyalty to their Big Oil campaign donors who put this tar sands pipeline at the top of their wish list," notes Michael Brune, executive director of Sierra Club.
Follow the Money, Compiled by Maplight
The oil and gas industry has lobbied hard for Keystone, giving 10 times the money to Senators that voted Yes and 13 times the money to House Reps who voted Yes, according to Maplight.
In the past two years, companies with Gulf Coast refineries spent $58.8 million to lobby Congress and federal agencies –
Valero, ExxonMobil, Marathon Petroleum, Phillips 66, and Motiva Enterprises (owned by Shell and Saudi Arabia’s state oil company, Saudi Aramco).
These companies control 45% of US refining capacity and all are potential recipients of Keystone oil – which they would export from their tax-free zone.
In the Senate, John Hoeven (R-ND) who sponsored the legislation, received $276,000 from the oil and gas industry. Senators who voted YES received an average of $236,544 in contrast to those who voted NO – $22,882.
House members who voted YES received an average of $45,218, compared to $3,549 for those who voted NO.
Learn more at Maplight: