Many Americans are worried that if the Keystone XL pipeline is built, even more sludgy bits of what used to be Canada will end up going up in smoke and heating up the planet.
Now Republican lawmakers are asking the president in a letter to please not let himself be one of those people — because the pipeline and the climate are “wholly unrelated.”
Environmentalists have been calling on Obama to reject the pipeline because the pollution produced when Canadian tar-sands oil is burned after it’s refined along the Gulf Coast will hasten global warming. With Democratic support for the pipeline waning, Beltway chatter has suggested Obama might hedge his bets by approving the pipeline and simultaneously introducing new climate change regulations, as The Hill reports.
In response, Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), and 22 of their colleagues penned a letter [PDF] urging Obama to not consider climate change when he makes his decision on Keystone.
“We are concerned by recent proposals that you pair approval of the Keystone XL pipeline with enactment of new environmental regulations and energy taxes,” the lawmakers wrote. “You should approve the Keystone XL pipeline project on its merits alone without suddenly moving the goal posts after more than four years of review by tethering its fate to wholly unrelated and economically disastrous new regulatory policies. The American people can afford no less.”