GOP Votes Against Requiring U.S.-Made Steel In Keystone Pipeline

Dave Johnson

In the last few days Senate Republicans have voted against everything they have promised in public to sell the Keystone pipeline.

They said the pipeline is about U.S. jobs, yet they voted against U.S. steel and supplier jobs in the pipeline supply chain. They said the oil is for use inside the U.S., yet they voted against using the oil inside the U.S..

Significantly, they also voted against disclosing any money they are getting from oil and other companies involved in the Keystone project.

And you might (not) have noticed that most of the U.S. corporate media are largely ignoring these votes. So the Republicans can keep telling the public they are for U.S. jobs and for U.S. energy independence. The public will be none the wiser.

Votes On Amendments

After going on for years that the Keystone pipeline is about U.S. jobs Senate Republicans voted against a “Buy America” requirement on the steel and other supplies that will be used in the pipeline. That’s right: Republicans voted to, in essence, buy the steel from China and Korea, putting thousands of American steel workers out of a job.

After going on for years about domestic oil independence, Senate Republicans also voted against requiring the oil going through Keystone stay in the U.S. This vote allows that oil to be sold to countries like China, undermining U.S. oil independence, and helping bring gas prices back up.

And, by some amazing coincidence, Senate Republicans voted against an amendment requiring campaign finance disclosures for politicians benefiting from tar sands development.

Here are just some of the things Senate Republicans voted to do (or not do):

● NOT to approve the Franken amendment “to require the use of iron, steel, and manufactured goods produced in the United States in the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline and facilities,”
● NOT to approve the Markey-Baldwin amendment requiring that the pipeline oil stay in the United States for domestic use,
● NOT to require campaign finance disclosures for politicians benefiting from tar sands development,
● NOT to require tar sands companies contribute to a government fund for oil spill cleanups like the one now underway in Montana after a 50,000-gallon spill,
● NOT to ensure private property cannot be seized through condemnation or eminent domain for the private gain of a foreign-owned business entity,
● NOT to tax this oil as petroleum is usually taxed,
● NOT to impose an 8-cent-per-barrel tax.

And then, after promising to run the Senate by allowing debate and amendments and after Republicans had voted to block campaign funding disclosure associated with the pipeline, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shut down all amendments and debate, so that Republicans could fly off to attend a Koch brothers campaign-funding event in Palm Springs.

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