Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
WASHINGTON - The US Senate is expected to vote today on the bill that will extend the payroll tax cut for two months. The bill contains a Keystone XL pipeline provision that would require President Obama to speed up a decision to begin its construction.
Crude Oil Pipeline
The House of Representatives passed a bill on Tuesday to extend the payroll tax cut for a year and contains the Keystone provision.
The Keystone XL Pipeline fight is getting more and more partisan. The Keystone XL Project 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.
American Indians and environmentalists oppose the pipeline.
The proposed pipeline coming down through the Plains states has caused great concern, particularly among the Oglala in South Dakota.
TransCanada's proposed pipeline route is right though the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations. It will cross the Oglala Sioux Rural Water Supply System in two places.
The President does not want to confuse the Keystone issue and others with the payroll tax-cut extension. Ten days ago, he threatened to veto the payroll tax cut legislation if it contained a Keystone provision.
However, in shift in position, the White House announced yesterday, the President would be willing to sign the bill because the Keystone provision contains language that says the President could delay a decision pending further environmental reviews.
In a tersely worded email, the Indigenous Environmental Network issued the following statement:
"There is no way to sugar coat it, if the President allows Keystone to move forward, he will be failing the single biggest environmental test of his Presidency."
The statement further urged those who would to contact the White House to voice Native opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline.
To contact the White House, call 202-456-1111.
updated 4:55 pm est; posted December 17, 2011 8:59 am est
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