Boehner Adviser: Steyer Donations Keep Obama From OK'ing Keystone

Image: Boehner Adviser: Steyer Donations Keep Obama From OK'ing Keystone Tom Steyer

Tuesday, 17 Jun 2014 07:15 PM

By Jason Devaney

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A post on House Speaker John Boehner's website says money, not environmental concerns, is stopping President Barack Obama and his Democratic colleagues in Congress from approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

The project, which has been placed on hold until after the November midterm elections, would add a fourth arm of the Keystone XL Pipeline that begins in Alberta, Canada, and stretches to oil refineries in the United States.

Three lines already are operational, but the fourth one, a proposed route from Alberta to Steele City, Neb., has come under scrutiny because of environmental concerns.

But Matt Wolking, Boehner's communications adviser, writes in a piece on the speaker's website titled "President Obama's Other Green Agenda," that Obama is confusing the color green.

"Turns out their pal Tom Steyer, a California billionaire, has said that the government's green energy policies offer 'a chance to make a lot of money,'" reads Wolking's statement, posted to the speaker's website.

"Both President Obama and Vice President Biden have held political fundraisers in Steyer's $5.8 million San Francisco mansion, and he's pledged to spend $100 million on the 2014 elections in support of anti-Keystone Democrats. So let's be honest: it's not about the science, it's about the money," Wolking writes.

"The obstructionists blocking Keystone have a different kind of green agenda: big campaign donations courtesy of a billionaire super-donor.

"Sure, they may be blocking thousands of jobs and paychecks for workers, millions of dollars in new tax revenue for states, and billions of dollars in growth for our economy. But for Democrats, campaign cash comes first," Wolking says.

The statement refers to those against the Keystone XL as "anti-affordable energy activists," and presents evidence that the environmental impact of the pipeline would be minimal.

The original path of the Keystone extension to Steele City was altered to avoid snaking through the environmentally sensitive Sand Hills region in north-central Nebraska. The new route was approved by Gov. Dave Heineman last year.

The statement on Boehner's site references several reports that say the pipeline would keep environmental disturbance, including carbon dioxide emissions, to a minimum. It also mentions a study commissioned by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration that concluded the crude oil the pipeline would carry "is no more corrosive than others and would not increase the chance of leaks."

A leading opponent of the pipeline extension, Steyer has pledged to donate $100 million to Democratic candidates opposed to the XL Pipeline running in the November midterm elections.

In April, a National Review story said Steyer's money can be credited with Obama's decision to delay the pipeline, as Republicans could take control of the Senate this fall.

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