Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
WASHINGTON In a vote of defiance to President Obama, the US House of Representatives voted to extend the highway bill with a mandate to construct the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the legislation if it passes the US Senate and gets to his desk for signature.
Yesterday's vote was 293-127 with 69 Democrats helping to get the legislation passed. All but 14 GOP voted for it. President Obama did not comment on this legislation publically during his remarks in Dearborn, Michigan yesterday.
The Keystone XL Project, owned by TransCanada, is a 1700 mile long crude oil pipeline that would transport between 700,000 to 900,000 barrels of crude oil per day. The 1700 mile long pipeline will extend from Alberta, Canada and pass through the states of Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas on its way to the Gulf of Mexico.
Last month, President Obama visited Cushing, Oklahoma to support opening the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline. He has remained opposed to the construction of the pipeline until more information is available its environmental impact is known. Environmentalists groups have adamantly opposed the construction of the pipeline.
American Indians have opposed it because of its proposed route would have crossed the Mink Wiconi Rural Water pipeline in two different locations. The Mink Wiconi Rural pipeline provides drinking water from the Missouri River to the Rosebud, Oglala and Lower Brule Lakota Nations. Other tribes across America have opposed the pipeline because of its potential to disrupt sacred burial sites.
“The definition of insanity is when you knock your head against a wall for the second time and expect a different result, this proposed Bill is the most insane,”
Commented Marty Cobenais of the Indigenous Environmental Network to the Native News Network after Wednesday's vote.
“President Obama will have no choice but to veto this bill as the route is still not determined. Tribal governments have not been consulted and there is not a current application from TransCanada.”
The House version of the transportation bill with the Keystone mandate moves to the Senate where conferees will negotiate an acceptable bill.
posted April 19, 2012 11:30 am edt
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