Saturday, March 23, 2013

Keystone Passage Veto Proof; Supports Want To Limit Judicial Review

From Politico:
The Senate issued a symbolic, filibuster-proof endorsement of the Keystone XL pipeline Friday evening, further increasing the pressure on President Barack Obama to green-light the project despite massive resistance from his environmental base.
Seventeen Democrats joined all of the Senate’s Republicans in a 62-37 vote for Sen. John Hoeven’s [R-ND] budget amendment urging approval of TransCanada’s oil pipeline.
Politico also reports that Tim Johnson (D-SD) joined supporters.

The pipeline  is going to carry tar sands oil that is more corrosive than normal crude, so leaks and ruptures are going to be a bigger problem than they are with previous pipelines. Like all pipeline projects, this one will trample landowners' rights. Most of the oil will benefit nations like China. The actual number of jobs the project will produce will be a fraction of the number of jobs supporters promise.

That being said, I haven't been able to get that worked up over the issue. I'm getting older and being angry tires me out more than it used to. The increasing destruction to civil liberties caused by the security state worry me. The fact that few others seem to care frightens and angers me. In South Dakota, idiocy like the school pistolier law hits closer to home. I don't have much anger left for Keystone.

Politico, however, points to one part of the Keystone effort that does anger me:
Hoeven is separately offering a bipartisan bill that would have Congress approve the pipeline and take the issue out of Obama’s hands. House Republicans are also expected to move legislation from Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.), with a sprinkling of Democratic co-sponsors, that would not just bypass Obama but limit judicial review of the project.[Emphasis mine.]
The idea that this pipeline is more important than checks and balances is absurd. If anything, Keystone is a project that deserves to be examined by all three branches.

Perhaps representatives and senators are frustrated.  Both the current and previous administrations have made end runs around the legislative and judicial branches. The legislative branch, however, has been complicit in allowing their power to be diminished. They seem to have ceded all military policy, including the decisions about going to war, to the executive branch. The remedy, however, is not to attempt to limit the power of the judicial branch.

The pipeline supporters seem to have done their job politically. They have won and seem able to override a veto. Attempting to circumvent the system of checks and balances over a pipeline seems to indicate an arrogance or a fear of the American constitutional system that ill-serves the Americans who elected them.

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