GOP wants to trade YOUR payroll tax cut for THEIR filthy Keystone XL pipeline

  • Published on December 3rd, 2011

keystone xl pipeline killed!

This is beyond disgusting.

Last month, after years of protests, demonstrations, and arrests (as well as serious accusations of fraud), President Obama backed off from a fast-track approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline. The megabillion project, which would transport dirty tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada across the heartland of America to Gulf Coast Refineries, is an environmental nightmare. Even the state of Nebraska held a special legislative session to try to block it.

Now, with crunch time on the budget once again coming around, it looks like the GOP is taking hostages once again.

This time around, it’s the payroll tax cut – a temporary measure that would put an average of $1500 in the wallets of more than than 100 million Americans. It’s the kind of relief that hard-working middle class families desperately need as the recession drags into its fourth year.

Which makes it the perfect hostage for the GOP.

Reuters reports:

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives said on Friday they will attach a bill designed to speed approval of the Keystone pipeline to payroll tax cut legislation House Speaker John Boehner hopes to pass this month.

The move is designed to ratchet up the heat on President Barack Obama, whose administration has put the Keystone XL pipeline on hold pending a study of a new route, pushing a decision past the 2012 presidential election.

How would this work?

  • Boehner’s bill would strip the administration of responsibility for reviewing the pipeline
  • Instead, that job would go to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
  • That industry-friendly body would be much less likely to let minor issues like contamination of the biggest aquifer in America’s heartland get in the way of oil industry profits.

The White House isn’t in the mood to play this game. “The proper place for this to be done is where it’s been done in the past, so that it’s done well and reviewed responsibly,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney.

But the GOP has nothing to lose. Roll something completely irrelevant into the bill, and then trade it for something they really want. It’s a form of political hardball that the Democrats have yet to learn.

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What can you do?

More on tar sands and the fight to prevent the Keystone XL pipeline:

About the Author

Jeremy Bloom is the Editor of RedGreenAndBlue. He lives in New York, where he combines his passion for the environment with his passion for film, and is working on making the world a better place.


  • The Democrats don’t play “hardball” like this, because they aren’t out to burn down government. This is what happens when principled meets unprincipled. At the same time, the Democrat principles only goe so far, such as taking kickbacks to roll over.

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