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Fred Upton
Rep. Fred Upton, determine to make the GOP as unpopular as possible.

It's never say die, for some Republicans.

BALTIMORE – House Republicans, undaunted by the payroll tax holiday debacle that dinged their conference last month, said Friday that they were considering using the Keystone XL Pipeline as a chip in the next round of negotiations over the tax break, as part of their overall efforts to push back against White House policies this year.

“We are going to be looking at every option to keep this issue at the forefront,” said Representative Fred Upton of Michigan, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce committee and a member of the bicameral conference committee tasked with coming up with a bill to extend the payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits through the rest of the year.

Mr. Upton said that reviving the 1,700-mile pipeline project, which would stretch from Canada to the Gulf Coast and which President Obama rejected this week for now, would likely be a contingency Republicans would seek in the tax break negotiations. “Certainly that is within the scope of the conference,” he said. [...]

Upending Mr. Obama administration’s decision on Keystone, which Speaker John A. Boehner said this week was “not the end of the fight,” is one of the central goals of the Republican agenda this year. Republicans chose to highlight the issue in their first news conference here, and this week sent out e-mail blasts highlighting all the editorials from around the country criticizing the president’s decision and drawing attention to Congressional Democrats who oppose it.

“We’re going to do everything we can to keep in on the front burner” Mr. Upton said.

Democrats will likely reject that effort entirely, so Boehner will have to find another way to insure his healthy investment profits out of this project.

But what these Republicans are intent on ignoring is the fact that their interference is gumming up the only path to approval for the pipeline, anyway. It has to go through Nebraska. The Nebraska legislature has determined that Transcanada has to find a new route, it has to be approved by the Nebraska DEQ, and then by the State Department, if it will be approved at all.

So the House GOP can bluster all it wants, and try to screw up tax cuts to the middle class in order to try to make the pointless political point. But it's not going to win them much favor with the electorate.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 11:01 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (20+ / 0-)

    "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

    by Joan McCarter on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 11:01:12 AM PST

  •  They feel the approval rating is still too high! (15+ / 0-)

    House Rs want to get to zero.

    I'm from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner Wing of the Democratic Party!

    by TomP on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 11:03:05 AM PST

    •  Hey.... dick "dick" cheney did it! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, Kinak, Matt Z

      At least among African Americans.  boehner  and upton are jealous.

      A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

      by dougymi on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 11:07:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Keystone Kops were quite popular (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      in their day.

      So, the GOP Congressmen figure, we'll be the Keystone Reps.

      It worked in 1912, so it must work now, too. Pefectly consistent with Republican thinking.

      A definition is the enclosing of a wilderness of ideas within a wall of words -- Samuel Butler

      by A Mad Mad World on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 11:24:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Back in December, GOP showed that (6+ / 0-)

    it was more interested in scoring political theater points than in actually building the pipeline. This is simply Keystone Kabuki, the Sequel.

    The world is on pace for 11 degrees F warming. Nothing else in politics matters. @RL_Miller

    by RLMiller on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 11:04:44 AM PST

    •  All the president has to do (0+ / 0-)

      is make a public speech excoriating the Republicans for being obstructionists (again).  His line could be, "There they go again."

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 08:16:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  keystone is a losing issue (14+ / 0-)

    Since Obama said no his approval hasn't dropped in either the Gallup or Rasmussen. seems like the keystone is a non issue the GOP again is misreading the public.

  •  They are willing (0+ / 0-)

    to so screw up the air that they will ensure that there is a large market for air canisters.

    “I do not want art for a few any more than I want education for a few, or freedom for a few. “ William Morris.

    by HugoDog on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 11:12:01 AM PST

  •  Only a few hundred construction jobs will come (9+ / 0-)

    from the pipeline, according to TransCanada, so the more the Republicons talks about the pipeline, the longer they give the blowdried suck up artists, err...the mainstream media to actually get the story right and report that this will only lead to a handful of temporary jobs and probably screw up the groundwater and grain production in the MidWest FOREVER!

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 11:15:39 AM PST

    •  There are far more than a handful (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      of construction jobs at stake.  There are probably around 6000, with union wages and benefits, lasting two years.

      •  According to TransCanada, they say there are (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        "hundreds--not thousands--of jobs and most of those are construction jobs."

        Check out the interview at the end of this video.

        Faux Noise and their misinformation-bibmos strike again!

        Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

        by tekno2600 on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 04:51:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  the 6000 construction jobs figure (0+ / 0-)

          is from p. 22 of the Final EIS Executive summary. If TransCanada said there are only 100s of jobs to build a 1700 mile pipeline they are ass... (ahem) mistaken.

          •  I would be interested in seeing a link to that or (0+ / 0-)

            knowing more about the assumptions. I don't know that it necessarily takes a huge number of people per mile on pipeline construction. I'm sure there is special equipment and probably some pretty standardized parts that get put together over a couple year period. I wouldn't necessarily assume the guy from TransCanada is a idiot. It could be that he knows some things that other folks do not about how the project will actually be done. I had certainly heard an estimate a while back of just under 2,000 jobs that would be generated by this project, which would be right in line with what the TransCanada guy is saying. However, if it does turn out that the 6,000 figure is correct, it would still be a far cry from the tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, and even one million jobs that were claimed by the Faux Noise anchor-bimbi at the link I provided.

            Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

            by tekno2600 on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 11:14:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Here is some text (0+ / 0-)

              from the State Department's final EIS Executive summary, p 22:

              During construction, there would be temporary,
              positive socioeconomic impacts as a result of local
              employment, taxes on worker income, spending by
              construction workers, and spending on construction
              goods and services. The construction work force
              would consist of approximately 5,000 to
              6,000 workers, including Keystone employees,
              contractor employees, and construction and
              environmental inspection staff. That would generate
              from $349 million to $419 in total wages. (end)

              I've read there are also be a couple thousand  jobs for a couple of years at the pipe manufacturing mill in Arkansas.

              Double the construction jobs since those last two years and you get 12,000. Then puff the 2000 pipe mill jobs into 8000, add it to construction,  and you get to 20,000.

              All the larger jobs numbers are BS at worst, and wild-eyed hopes at best.  I doubt even 20,000 is an honest estimate. But I still feel 6000 x 2 yrs is a lot of jobs.

              •  I think we could get more jobs from 1 million (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                6412093, YoungArizonaLiberal

                electric cars, or from 10 million solar rooftops, or from 100,000 MW of wind power, plus transmission, and balancing. I think the pipeline is a huge investment for a dying fossil fuel industry, when we could be making similar investments and becoming world leaders in the green industries that will power the future.

                Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

                by tekno2600 on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 07:48:25 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  No doubt (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  big investments in green energy like your examples would create lots more jobs.  The big solar power plants under construction in the California desert provide as many jobs as the pipeline.

                  But its not an either/or proposition.  The pipeline is privately financed. Private money spent on the pipeline is not subtracted from publi money spent to support green industry.

                  •  It's true that it's good to have both private and (0+ / 0-)

                    public investment. It is also not an either/or issue between green energy and some continued use of fossil fuels. However, I would bet that (1) a significant amount of public monies, public lands, and public resources will be given away on the cheap for this pipeline; and (2) public health costs for it's effects, even without major spills, will be born by all of us. There is also just not enough time to safely evaluate the new route for the pipeline. So, I think Obama made the right decision.

                    The funny thing I see on the Left is that they act like this is a permanently settled issue and that it can never come back or be considered by Obama--I don't think that true. The funny thing on the Right is that Obama would not have necessarily turned the pipeline down, had they not given him an absurdly unworkable deadline for making a decision.

                    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

                    by tekno2600 on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 03:11:15 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      that the R's strategery made the pipeline's rejection inevitable.  Obama is a pretty shrewd character the way he phrased his decision.

                      Several newspaper editorials and the usual right-wing suspects are beating up on Obama for rejecting the pipeline however. I hope it doesn't cost him politically.  Montana has become kind of a swing state and the pipeline was relatively popular there.

                      The pipeline didn't have any explicit public costs such as public land use or subsidies. However you are correct, any spill clean-up costs would be "externalized" as the economists say, meaning public bucks would be spent and never fully reimbursed.

  •  But d*mnit, think of the hostage value! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "We want our hostage back!"

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 11:23:41 AM PST

  •  States Rights (Nebraska's opinions) are only (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kinak, ChadmanFL, Matt Z

    allowed if it enhances wealth of the 1%'ers and their minions in Congress.  If it stands in the way, it must be overridden.

  •  So the 120,000 jobs created thing is still getting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    traction by the GOP?!
    Hasn't it been proven that the number is inflated? If the GOP wants to attack Obama for this they are in a heap of trouble.

    A house divided against itself cannot stand. Abraham Lincoln

    by YoungArizonaLiberal on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 02:30:25 PM PST

  •  Unicameral Legislature Please (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    As a native Nebraskan, please be advised that we have a unicameral legislature, which officially has no party labels (in practice, Republicans run the show).

    From the link above;

    George Norris, a "New Deal Republican" who settled in McCook, wore out two sets of tires while he drove throughout the state campaigning for the measure. He said the two-house system was outdated, inefficient and unnecessary.

    Norris said the bicameral system was modeled after the British Parliament, which is made up of the House of Commons, with representatives elected by the people, and the House of Lords, with its aristocratic members appointed by the king.

    "...The constitutions of our various states are built upon the idea that there is but one class. If this be true, there is no sense or reason in having the same thing done twice, especially if it is to be done by two bodies of men elected in the same way and having the same jurisdiction," Norris said.

    Above Grecian mantles were chiseled these words... Know Thyself... Nothing in Excess... the pop philosophy of its day.

    by ravagerofworlds2 on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 04:06:58 PM PST

  •  Sadly, yes ... for the time being. (0+ / 0-)
                          the House GOP can bluster all it wants

    "There's nothing in the dark that's not there when the lights are on" ~ Rod Serling

    by jwinIL14 on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 04:14:23 PM PST

  •  Please. (0+ / 0-)

    Let us reprise the smash hit of last season: "Tax Cuts are Just for the Rich!"

    Corporations are people, my friend Yeah, well, so's Soylent Green, so I don't find that very comforting. New video: Not Enough (HD)

    by Crashing Vor on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 04:24:20 PM PST

  •  If this frickin' pipeline ever gets built, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marty marty

    it should be checked for leaks by the following method: Place John of OrangeBoner headfirst into the Canadian end of the pipe, then place a rocket engine  at his feet. If he makes it all the way to the other end, and no one could hear him screaming, then maybe it won't leak after all.

  •  Time for PO to Fight Back (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    clent, Loozerio

    While the Republicans are portraying this like all the refined oil will end up here in the US reducing our need for overseas oil.  The truth is there is (to my knowledge) nothing in this deal to prevent nearly 100% of this Canadian oil from being shipped out from refineries in the Gulf making Canadian oil companies gobs of money while all we in the US will get is an oil pipeline leaking gobs of oil sludge onto our precious farm land.

    President Obama needs to fight back by asking Republicans how much oil we actually get?

    And when they try to BS us by saying all or most, ask them how, in a free enterprise system, they intend to guaranttee that all or most of the oil flowing through this pipeline will not end up overseas, with no benefit to this Country?

    Time for some Harball truth in this debate!

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 04:26:28 PM PST

    •  Nancy Pelosi said in a press conference (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marty marty

      a few days ago that the refined fuel wasn't even destined for the U.S., that it was for export...but nobody paid any attention to her.  Mark Twain was right about the speed of the lie.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 08:29:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Keystone XL is just political football (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    we already have oil pipelines crisscrossing the US, including ones coming in from Canada, and they haven't created millions of new jobs or ecological disasters.

    •  A good summary of the history (0+ / 0-)

      of Keystone is here, including statements from both TransCanada and the National Resources Defense Council.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 08:39:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  TeaBigots: "Victims" of Their Own Success... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    TeaBigots actually think they won in 2010 based on issues. Just too blind to see that their "victory" was more anti-Obama than anything else - which is why not one Black Democrat lost their district to a repub - and now buyers remorse has repub approval in the tank.

    Personally, I hope the TeaBigots try this stunt again - that is, tying middle-class tax cuts to Keystone pipeline. Please. Please. Pretty Please.

    I just luv watching my enemy shoot themselves in their (de)feet...

    I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Republican Party.

    by OnlyWords on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 04:34:57 PM PST

  •  A wonderful article in Rolling Stone magazine. (0+ / 0-)

    I wonder how much all of these senators and representatives have invested in the firms involved in this deal.  With their advanced knowledge (insider trading) I am sure they want their money protected.   How could the President do them in this way?

    Thanks Joan for you blog on John Boehner's keystone XL conflict of interest.

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