The House voted today in favor of a bill that would eliminate the permitting process for the Keystone XL pipeline (H.R. 3). Why is Jen cranky about this?
1. It waives all permitting requirements for a foreign company’s project. We don’t do legislation-level permit-waivers for domestic companies. In short, we don’t do legislation “about” single corporations AT ALL. This would set a dangerous precedent.
2. The permitting process is already underway. This bill would eliminate requirements for the health, environmental, and safety evaluations currently taking place. These are necessary evaluations. Bypassing them for one company is against our interests in public health and national security.
3. Mostly, I’m cranky about the hypocrisy. The green energy loan-guarantee program is derided by House Republicans as an instance of the government “picking winners and losers.” But a bill singling out and making special ONE corporation’s project is okay? I guess it’s okay when each rep who voted in favor of this bill received, on average, 10 times more in contributions from fossil fuel companies than reps voting against. There’s a connection there, but I can’t… quite… see… what…
Luckily, this is the 7th time the House has voted for a measure like this, and none have made it through the Senate. I seriously doubt this one will, either, and Obama has declared he’d veto it if it did.