Today in Big Oil’s grip on Congress…we saw a vote in the House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee regarding Rep. Lee Terry of Nebraska’s “H.R.3“, which is a bill that would circumvent standard processes and force approval of the Keystone XL pipeline without the standard presidential permit. We wrote about this bill, and the Dirty Energy Money behind it, last month if you’ll recall. Well today it passed one hurdle — clearing the Energy and Commerce Committee in a 30-18.
As you’ll recall in our previous post, this bill is simply dripping in oil. As we wrote last month…
The [original H.R.3] co-sponsors have, on average, received over $662,000 in fossil fuel-related campaign contributions in their careers. That’s over 410% more than the average member of the House of Representatives. Read that again: over 4 times more in dirty energy money than their counterparts.
Well, as you might expect, today’s vote in the Energy and Commerce committee continued the long trend of huge Big Oil money lurking behind votes in favor of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
Our analysis based on the Dirty Energy Money database shows the following regarding the 30 members of the House’s Energy and Commerce Committee who voted in favor of HR3:
- Pro-KXL representatives in the vote today have received more than 6 times more in campaign contributions from Big Oil than those that voted against it.
- Representatives in favor of the pro-Keystone XL bill today have received on average some $265,000 in Big Oil money in their careers, as opposed to $44,000 to those who opposed the bill.
- The total Big Oil money behind the 30 supporters of this process-circumventing pro-dirty tar sands vote today was nearly $8 million dollars.
I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that Representatives who vote to ignore legal processes that are set in place to assess the suitability of projects like the Keystone XL pipeline are also ones who take dirty cash from Big Oil and do their bidding instead of listening to the people they supposedly represent. I just continue to be surprised at how obvious they are about doing it.
Meanwhile, the period for the public to submit comments to the State Department closes in just a few days — April 22nd — and by last count, over 830,000 anti-KeystoneXL comments have been made since the beginning of the month. The movement is pushing to get over a million NoKXL comments in by April 22nd, and it appears that goal may be an easy bar to achieve. The decision for the State Department — where Keystone XL rests unless Congress circumvents the process — should be a clear one.
Unfortunately, for 30 members of Congress today, the Big Oil money landing in their laps proved to large to ignore. But with more evidence emerging every day that the impacts — be they to the climate, to our neighborhoods, or to the American people — of the Keystone XL are simply immense, one hopes those with the real decision-making power on this tar sands pipeline project are able to look past the dirty energy money and make the decision we all know they must. Say no to Keystone XL.