GOP Senators Take Emergency Oil Reserve Hostage to Force Keystone Approval
In a desperate attempt to force Keystone XL, three Senators are threatening access to a vital economic and national security safeguard, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
Republican Congressional leaders have failed to force President Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. But that’s not stopping them from trying over and over again, taking hostages in the process.
This week, several senators took a different hostage: our emergency oil supply. On February 13, Senators David Vitter (R-LA), John Hoevan (R-ND), and Richard Lugar (R-IN) introduced the Strategic Petroleum Supplies Act, S. 2100 that would prevent President Obama from selling oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve unless Keystone is approved:
the Administration shall not authorize a sale of petroleum products from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve… until the date on which all permits necessary … for the Keystone XL pipeline project application filed on September 19, 2008 (including amendments) have been issued.
In other words, unless the president approves Keystone, he cannot sell our emergency oil — even if Iran causes an oil supply disruption in the Strait of Hormuz, a hurricane or other disaster disables oil production or refining facilities, or any other type of event causes gasoline prices to soar above $4 per gallon. If any of these events happen, middle class Americans would pay significantly higher gasoline pump prices, giving billions of dollars more to big oil companies that made record profits last year.
Additionally, this bill threatens our national security because it would give Iran more incentive to cause an oil supply disruption knowing that the U.S. could not legally access its 695 million barrels of oil reserves.
These hostage taking senators would argue that the Keystone XL pipeline – like the SPR — is vital to provide oil for Americans. However, that is false. It is likely that a large portion of the tar sands oil sent to Texas refineries will be for export, and would not be sold in the U.S.
The Senate is trying to force a pipeline route through Nebraska that is not yet identified, let alone evaluated to determine whether its impact on air and water quality. Because much of the tar sands oil refined in the U.S. would go overseas, Americans would bear the environmental risks while other nations get the oil.
I don’t know about others, but I don’t think it’s hyperbole in the least to label Hoevan, Lugar, and Diaper Dave Vitter’s repulsive stunt as treason. Selling out America’s security to appease Keystone transnational oil conglomerates, many of which John Boehner invests in.
The fact this isn’t a crime is a crime in itself!