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House Roll Call: 179     Vote Date: May 22nd, 2013

Issue: H.R. 3 Latest Title: Northern Route Approval Act. (To approve the construction, operation, and maintenance of the Keystone XL pipeline, and for other purposes.)

Result: Passed in House, 241 to 175, 1 present, 16 not voting. Democrats scored.

Bill Summary: H.R. 3 would overcome identified obstacles to the construction, operation, and maintenance of the Keystone XL pipeline, intended to move about 700,000 barrels per day of oil-like bitumen across the U.S.-Canadian border, from the Alberta oil sands to Texas refineries.

Analysis: Of course, passage of H.R. 3 does not overcome these two critical obstacles: the Senate and the President, both of which are subservient to the environmental lobby.

Accordingly, this bill is more about image building for GOP campaigning than it is about helping the U.S. economy. We therefore score only the Democrats on this roll call, giving credit to those 19 who ignored their party’s leadership and voted for the bill.

The arguments in favor of building the pipeline have focused exclusively on rebutting the phony issues raised by the environmentalists — a purely defensive strategy ultimately doomed to defeat, even if the Keystone project is allowed to go forward. What America needs is an offensive strategy that recognizes the environmentalists’ attack for what it is —an attack on the means of support for a healthy, modern economy.

An adequate offensive strategy must expose the real agenda of the environmentalist movement and the agenda of its Establishment sponsors (see, for example, Steve Milloy, Green Hell, Regnery 2009). Given the power and influence of the Establishment media, this is something that almost all politicians refuse to do. Instead, they mislead Americans into thinking that purely partisan politics can solve our problems by posturing against outrageous symptoms.

The Keystone battle

Well organized environmental groups such as the heavily funded Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club made it a major priority to stall the Keystone approval process by raising several concerns. Then, in January of 2014, the U.S. State Department released its environmental impact study.

According to Forbes (2-12-14), “Keystone XL Opposition: All Cause, No Benefit”:

“The study’s key finding: building and maintaining Keystone would have virtually no effect on global carbon emissions…. And like that, the Obama administration’s public justification for stalling approval of the project collapses….

“For his part, President Obama has delayed a decision on Keystone XL pipeline for five years, choosing instead to conduct study after study… While his delaying tactics may have helped to shore up his base, and even reward donors, the president can no longer refuse to choose the best energy option for America’s future.”

We are not so sure. The Forbes article proceeds from the false assumption that our modern presidents really want to do what’s best for America. Forbes totally ignores the Internationalist agenda that has long had a grip on the Executive branch, the two major political parties and the major media.

Forbes also suggests that a pipeline to carry Canadian crude to Texas refineries will likely be built in any event. Environmental groups sought an injunction to halt construction of a different pipeline from Flanagan, Illinois to Cushing, Oklahoma, which does not cross the U.S. Canadian border and therefore does not require federal approval. But a federal court refused the injunction.

Even without the State Department study, credible opposition to Keystone had become so weak, that a year earlier even the Establishment’s Washington Post (1-23-13) came out in favor of the project, while still supporting the phony environmentalist agenda:

 “After years of federal review, there was little question last year that construction of the pipeline … should proceed….

“Mr. Obama should ignore the activists who have bizarrely chosen to make Keystone XL a line-in-the-sand issue, when there are dozens more of far greater environmental import. He knows that the way to cut oil use is to reduce demand for the stuff, and he has begun to put that knowledge into practice, setting tough new fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks. That will actually make a difference, unlike blocking a pipeline here or there.”

However, the environmentalists could also look to the Establishment for strong support. In a New York Times May 9, 2012 op-ed, NASA climate scientist James Hansen charged:

“If Canada proceeds [with its plans to exploit the oil in its vast tar sands reserves], and we do nothing, it will be game over for the climate.”

 In its November 2012 issue, Foreign Policy magazine named Hansen one of its Top Global Thinkers that year “for sounding the alarm on climate change, early and often.” In 2008, The Washington Post Company purchased Foreign Policy from the Establishment’s Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.”

Nevertheless, even Michael Levi, the director of the CFR’s program on energy security and climate change, couldn’t quite embrace the severity of Hansen’s doomsday predictions. (See Washington Post Opinions (1-18-2012) “Five myths about the Keystone pipeline.”

All of this illustrates how easy it is to get distracted from the real issue — the campaign of top Insiders, including the inner core of the CFR, to use whatever pretext they can to create scarcity and gain the power to regulate human action. (See Freedom First Society’s, Masters of Deception.)

We have assigned (good vote) to the Ayes and (bad vote) to the Noes. (P = voted present; ? = not voting; blank = not listed on roll call.)