Obama May Have Vetoed Keystone Pipeline, but Part of it is Already Built
Don’t tell residents of Texas that the Keystone XL pipeline is no longer a concern just because President Barack Obama vetoed the bill authorizing the controversial project. A large part of the pipeline was already built—and is now operating—in the Lone Star state.
While Obama may have rejected the northern portion of the project, he authorized the Texas end of it, which began piping toxic Canadian tar sands oil from Oklahoma to refineries along the Gulf Coast last year under the name the Gulf Coast Pipeline Project.
Some Texas property owners are furious that the president didn’t come to their aid. “Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled that President Obama owned up to his promise to veto the Keystone XL pipeline bill today. But in the same breath I’m spittin’ mad,” Julia Trigg Crawford, who fought TransCanada from taking her land by eminent domain but lost, told DeSmogBlog.
She added: “Nearly three years ago, with the exact same data in front of him he decided to ‘cut through the red tape and fast track’ the southern leg of this project. Where was his ‘climate test’ then? Before the ink is dry on this veto, President Obama owes all of us in Texas and Oklahoma an explanation. Better yet, an apology,” Crawford said.
Crawford wasn’t the only Texan to lose her property to TransCanada via eminent domain. And conservatives who usually oppose government intrusion into private property rights have been strangely quiet on the foreign-owned company’s confiscation of Americans’ property to serve commercial interests.
“If this were a wind mill project or a solar project, Republicans would have been hair-on-fire crazy supporting the property rights of farmers and ranchers,” Jane Kleeb, founder of the anti-Keystone group Bold Nebraska, told ThinkProgress. “But because it’s an oil pipeline, it’s fine.”
This should come as no surprise, considering the amount of money conservative groups have gotten from oil companies. The Heritage Foundation, for instance, has received more than $500,000 from Exxon-Mobil’s foundation and more than $5 million from groups connected to the Koch brothers, according to ThinkProgress.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, Steve Straehley
To Learn More:
Obama’s Veto of Keystone XL Bittersweet for Texans Forced to Allow the Pipeline on Their Land (by Julie Dermansky, DeSmogBlog)
TransCanada Is Seizing People’s Land To Build Keystone, But Conservatives Have Been Dead Silent (by Josh Israel and Katie Valentine, Think Progress)
Should Keystone Pipeline be Renamed Koch Brothers Pipeline? (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)
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