BURLINGTON, Vt., Nov. 14 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today said blocking approval of a Keystone XL oil pipeline is “a no-brainer.”
The Senate is set to vote next Tuesday. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed legislation on Friday that would clear the way for construction of the controversial project.
“Rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline is a no-brainer,” Sanders said. “Instead of increasing carbon emissions and accelerating climate change so oil companies can make more profits, we should put millions of Americans back to work rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and creating a sustainable energy future.”
The pipeline would carry some of the dirtiest crude oil on the planet from Canada’s tar sands region in Alberta to refineries along the Gulf Coast in Texas.
A member of the Senate environment and energy committees, Sanders said approving the pipeline would send a terrible message about the United States’ commitment to deal with global warming.
“The scientific community is virtually unanimous in saying that climate change is real, it is already causing devastating problems in our country and around the world and that if we do not transform our energy system away from fossil fuel that situation is only going to get worse in terms of floods and drought and extreme weather disturbances,” Sanders said.
Backers of the pipeline say it will create jobs. In fact, according to a State Department analysis, only about 50 workers would operate the completed pipeline. In terms of construction jobs, Sanders said, Congress should approve a massive program to rebuild and repair bridges, railroads, water systems, airports and other infrastructure projects. That effort would create millions of decent-paying jobs and make our country more efficient and productive.