04.24.2013 0

EPA obstructs Keystone XL pipeline, puts Obama nominee at further risk

By Rick Manning

The battle over the building of the Keystone XL pipeline took a somewhat bizarre twist as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offered official comments to the U.S. State Department on a draft review of the project.

The EPA’s comment complained that the State Department’s draft report on whether the Keystone XL pipeline between Canada and the United States should be allowed to be built included “insufficient information” on environmental issues.  This official Obama Administration comment to their own Departmental report comes in spite of years spent by those seeking to build the pipeline mitigating environmental concerns.  These attempts have included a complete re-routing of the pipeline through Nebraska away from areas considered environmentally sensitive.

Nathan Mehrens, general counsel for Americans for Limited Government, criticized the EPA’s decision to comment saying, “The EPA’s attempt to further delay this project on specious grounds is evidence of just how far this rogue Agency will go, and how little they care about what Congress thinks.”

Last month, seventeen Democrat Senators joined forty five Republican colleagues in overwhelming passing an amendment to the Senate budget calling for the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.  The stunning 62-37 Senate vote in favor of the project, featuring the type of bi-partisan support that is rarely found in Washington, D.C.  The Senate vote reflects the expectation that the project will create thousands of jobs, while further eroding the United States’ dependence on Middle East oil.

Mehrens’ pointed to the Senate vote in urging the body to exert its Constitutional influence over the EPA saying, “The Senate has overwhelmingly made it clear that they want the Keystone XL pipeline built and they want it built now.  It is time for the Senate to send a clear message to the EPA that they need to get out of the way.  It is time for the Senate to reject the nomination of Gina McCarthy to be the EPA Administrator.

Arguing that Congress needed to send a “powerful message to the EPA”, Mehrens urged the Senate to reject Gina McCarthy’s nomination to be the next EPA Administrator, so the Obama Administration would understand that their continued expansion of power, “would no longer be tolerated.”

McCarthy’s nomination has become the center of controversy in D.C. as details about her failure to make certain there were working air radiation monitors came to light after the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown late last year have troubled Senators.

Recent revelations in an article in the British Daily Mail that McCarthy also approved and is actively encouraging U.S. automakers to use a deadly refrigerant in air conditioning systems has also sent shockwaves through Capitol Hill.

McCarthy’s nomination is particularly controversial as she has been at the forefront of implementing much of President Obama’s climate change agenda through imposing a regulatory agenda that stretches the outer limits of the EPA’s authority.

As Mehrens notes, “Failure to reject McCarthy may effectively abdicate the last opportunity for Congress to rein in this power grabbing Agency that is sucking the life out of the U.S. economy.”

McCarthy’s nomination is pending in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Rick Manning (@rmanning957) is the vice president of public policy and communications for Americans for Limited Government.

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