Congressional backers of TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline are pulling out the stops today, making the case that the pipeline could help the U.S. and its allies after Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and sending a slew of American veterans to urge more Senate Democrats to support the project.
About two dozen members of VBet4Energy fanned out in the Capitol yesterday and today, talking up the $5.3 billion project with Senate Democrats including Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio.
Members of the group also attended a rally this morning in the Capitol led by Sen. John Hoeven, a North Dakota Republican who is one of the chamber’s top advocates of the pipeline. The project, in its sixth year of an application process under consideration by the Obama administration, would link Canada’s oil sands with refineries on the U.S. Gulf coast.
Hoeven, who along with other lawmakers appeared with Gary Doer, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., and American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard, said the recent action in the Ukraine points to the need for the pipeline. The U.S.’s European allies are wary of inflicting sanctions on Russia after its actions in Crimea, because the E.U. is so dependent on Russian oils and gas. The entire matter underscores the need for energy independence, he said
“We understand that sound energy policy and national security policy are inextricably linked,” Dan Loren, Vets4Energy adviser, and Rear Admiral Don Loren, National Veterans Service Organizations liaison, said at the rally, clearing his throat before he headed to Reid’s private office.
In his remarks, Doer pointed to the alliance between the U.S. and Canada that has existed since the War of 1812, when Canada was on the side of the British.
“We won that one!” one of the veterans pointed out.