Because it’s Earth Summit week and therefore a dandy time for such things, House Republicans are back to the game of promoting the Keystone XL pipeline.
That, you’ll recall, is a project to transport massive amounts of oil from the tar sands of Alberta across the U.S. to the Gulf of Mexico for refining and, mostly, export. After many protests, much gnashing of conservative teeth, and a convoluted game of legislative and regulatory chess, the pipeline is, for the moment, dead.
Cue the resurrection music, maestro. As they have many times before, the GOP firebrands in the House, in an effort to force the Obama administration’s hand, set out this week to mandate automatic approval of the pipeline by tacking an amendment onto some other bill. Only this time, there was a small hitch.
As Andrew Restuccia reports in Politico, Reps. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) and Connie Mack (R-Fla.) had to withdraw their amendment at the last minute.
“Some language was omitted from the amendment and after rereading it, we realized the error and it completely changed the intent of the amendment,” the aide said.
In the rush to get the amendment approved, four lines were left out that “added another layer of approval that we did not intend,” the aide said, blaming the mistake on “human error.”
This bit of legislation is all posturing anyway, since it stands little chance of passing the Senate or winning President Obama’s signature. Besides, the House has passed similar votes five times already!
So why bother? As Restuccia writes: “The House Keystone votes offer Republicans an opportunity to hammer home their political message and, in so doing, pummel Democrats for not supporting immediate approval of the project.”
Next time, these representatives should probably put down their hammers and fists and pick up some editing skills.