Senate Votes in Favor of Dirty Tar Sands Pipeline, Senators Supporting Keystone XL Received Nearly $31 Million from Fossil Fuel Industry.

Via on Mar 24, 2013
Full production of the oil from tar sands in Canada would add 240 billion tons of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere, severely hampering any efforts to tackle global warming.
Full production of the oil from tar sands in Canada would add 240 billion tons of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere, severely hampering any efforts to tackle global warming.

From our friends at EcoWatch.

The U.S. Senate voted in support of the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline on Friday, which would deepen our dependence on tar sands oil from Canada.

The measure, introduced by Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND), signifies yet another attempt by Republicans to pressure President Obama to approve the TransCanada permit for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

According to Environment America, full production of the oil from tar sands would add 240 billion tons of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere, severely hampering any efforts to tackle global warming. Unchecked global warming will harm present and future generations of Americans in many ways, including more extreme weather events like superstorm Sandy, the worst drought since the Dust Bowl and wildfires raging in the West.

The vote was on an amendment (#494) to the Senate budget resolution, which is not binding, and the White House still has the ultimate authority for approving or rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline.

“By voting in support of the reckless and dangerous Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, these Senators have turned a blind eye to the threats global warming poses to our country and sided with the fossil fuel industry over Americans, our environment and future generations,” said Nathan Willcox, Environment America’s global warming program director. “We are deeply disappointed in their vote tonight, and urge them to oppose any future measures on this or other bills which threaten Americans’ health or our environment.”

“Tar sands pipelines have no place in the debate over the federal budget and Congress has no business rubber stamping dangerous, unnecessary Big Oil projects,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club.

“This vague, nonbinding resolution does nothing but show how eager these Senators are to please their Big Oil masters.”

New analysis from Oil Change International reveals that supporters of the non-binding Keystone XL pipeline amendment received 3.5 times more in campaign contributions from fossil fuel interests than those voting “no.” In total, researchers found that supporters took an average of $499,648 from the industry before voting for the pipeline, while sponsors took upwards of $800,000, for a staggering total of $30,978,153.

“Today’s vote presents yet another reason why Congress is less popular than root canals,” said David Turnbull, campaigns director for Oil Change International. “Every single effort from Congress to influence the Keystone XL pipeline decision has been backed by millions in dirty energy money, and today’s was no different. The vote today was nothing more than a 31 million dollar sideshow whose sole purpose was to kiss the rings of the Senate’s Big Oil benefactors.”

The amendment pre-judges but does not replace the ongoing process being undertaken by President Obama’s State Department to review the project which remains in place.

Ahead of the Senate’s vote, Oil Change International released analysis showing that the 10 original co-sponsors of the Hoeven amendment received an average of $807,517 from the fossil fuel industry, 254 percent more than the average non-sponsoring Senator, for a total of $8 million dollars from the industry based on data from DirtyEnergyMoney.org.

According to the new analysis, those voting for the amendment received $499,648 from fossil fuel interests, on average, and nearly $31 million in total over their careers. Meanwhile, those voting against the amendment received $143,372 on average.

In other words, those voting for the pipeline received roughly 3.5 times more in fossil fuel industry contributions than their counterparts in the Senate.

“It’s high time for President Obama to publicly reject industry corruption of our politics and the toxic Keystone XL Pipeline,” concluded Turnbull.

EcoWatch LogoEcoWatch is a cutting-edge news service promoting the work of more than 1,000 grassroots environmental organizations and activists worldwide, and showcasing the insights of world-renowned environmental leaders. EcoWatch focuses on the issues of water, air, food, energy and biodiversity, and promotes ongoing environmental campaigns including climate change, fracking, mountaintop removal, factory farming, sustainable agriculture and renewable energy. News is provided on a global and local scale. EcoWatch unites the voices of the grassroots environmental movement and mobilize millions of people to engage in democracy in pursuit of a sustainable future.

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Ed: Lynn Hasselberger

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2 Responses to “Senate Votes in Favor of Dirty Tar Sands Pipeline, Senators Supporting Keystone XL Received Nearly $31 Million from Fossil Fuel Industry.”

  1. Linda V. Lewis says:

    Thank you for spreading awareness. This is criminal! So much dirty money supporting the toxic Keystone XL Pipeline! I hope President Obama holds his ground and maintains his vision for a cleaner, greener America for future generations. In doing so he will also benefit so many Canadian citizens and Canadian First Nations who are also against the Keystone XL Pipeline and have been protesting against it for months. PM Harper has deaf ears, however, along with no intention to protect the country's waterways and lands. I don't know which Senate is worse, Canada's or the US of A's! Think how much $$$ both countries would save without Senators!

  2. James Mejuto says:

    We have got to get the 'MONEY' out of politics. It's corrupted every part of political life in our country . I just learned that my Senator, Senator Bill Nelson, of Florida has received more than $290,000 in contributions (buying his vote) from the energy companies. What a shame. We will get nothing of substance, passed in this country, until we get these corporations off the backs of the politicians. We've got to defeat 'Citizens United' and pass citizen contributions for elections through our contributions. Pass a law that business is prohibited from make any contributions to elections. Also, we must make TV and Radio campaign messages free to our candidates during the elections and we must put an end to election campaigns running 2 years before the election. Do like Britain does: 2 months campaigning . . . only.

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