Indiana Politicians and the Keystone XL Pipeline [2012]

  1. Mitch Daniels
  2. Richard Lugar

Mitch Daniels Joins John Boehner’s Web Of Keystone XL Corruption
Gov. Daniels and Sen. Lugar AP Photo
According to recent disclosures, Daniels is part of a concerted Republican effort to lobby Congress to push the tar sands pipeline through prime agricultural land and over the Ogallala Aquifer that supplies groundwater for 20% of America’s agriculture and drinking water for 2 million Americans. It is despicable that Daniels lied to Americans about the pipeline, but it is beyond the pale that his lobbying effort is being funded with Indiana resident’s tax dollars.

Think Progress reports that Indiana’s Washington D.C. representatives were paid with taxpayer dollars to lobby Congress during the fourth quarter of 2011 including “advocacy of the tar sands pipeline.” The Indiana Petroleum Council has pushed the Keystone XL pipeline even though it is unlikely that any Indiana residents will work on its construction. It is one thing to push the pipeline if it created jobs for Indiana residents and one would expect the state to actively lobby for any project to help the unemployed, but not only are there no jobs for Indiana residents, the pipeline does not evenpass through Indiana. And yet Indiana taxpayer’s are funding the oil industry’s lobbying effort at a time when Governor Daniels and Republican state legislators have slashed spending for programs like Medicaid and most recently, full day kindergarten and the state fair. Apparently, for Daniels and Republicans in Indiana, it is better to spend tax dollars to enrich the oil industry than fund children’s health, higher education, and K-12 education that suffered Republican’s deep spending cuts.

It is still unclear what, besides oil industry campaign contributions, Daniels stands to gain pushing the Keystone pipeline, especially in light of mounting evidence it is an ill-advised project. Up to this point, only Republicans in the employ of the oil industry and those with stock in Canadian tar sand companies are pushing the project, but even the GOP’s media outlet, Fox News, labeled the Keystone XL pipeline a “bad deal all along.” Fox News said President Obama was right to nix the pipeline and that “rejecting the Keystone XL deal was the best decision possible” despite Republicans “trying to force his hand” with an artificial deadline. Fox reiterated six reasons the pipeline was a bad deal and they enumerate the primary reasons critics of the project have stated from the before the GOP’s extortion attempt during the payroll tax cut extension fight in December.

It is obvious there is no length Republicans will avoid to enrich the oil industry and Mitch Daniels is the latest target of an investigation to determine what financial gain he will reap if the pipeline is built. However, the people of Indiana should exert severe pressure on Daniels to come clean and admit he was lying about the pipeline, resign, and repay residents for using their tax dollars to promote a project with no benefit to Indiana residents. The pipeline’s proponents are exclusively Republicans and oil industry giants such as Koch Industries, the American Petroleum Institute, and now, the Indiana Petroleum Council, and Indiana residents are footing part of the bill to lobby Congress on behalf of the oil industry.
Lugar Calls for Keystone XL Passage NOW
“It is time for Democratic Leader Harry Reid to take the reins off those Senate Democrats willing to stand up for America’s workers. Keystone XL is a win for jobs, a win for our economy, and a win for our national security. Further delay is irresponsible. If the President and Majority Leader aren’t willing to let private investors jumpstart the economy, then it’s time they get out of the way,” U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar said.

The House of Representatives has passed, as part of its payroll tax cut extension bill, Lugar’s Keystone XL legislation. Led by Lugar, a bipartisan group of 41 Senators have cosponsored the Lugar- Hoeven-Vitter North American Energy Security Act, legislation that would compel the Obama Administration to act on a construction permit for the Keystone XL pipeline in 60 days. Read the full statement.
Emerson Electric Has A $9.4 Billion Contract For Oil Sands Development Support Services.
From the Washington Post:
Environmentalists note that in December 2010, according to Boehner's financial disclosure forms, he invested $10,000 to $50,000 each in seven firms that had a stake in Canada's oil sands, the region that produces the oil the pipeline would transport. The firms include six oil companies - BP, Canadian Natural Resources, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Devon Energy and Exxon - along with Emerson Electric, which has a contract to provide the digital automation for the first phase of a $9.4 billion Horizon Oil Sands Project in Canada. [Washington Post,1/14/12]

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