Polluters are fighting hard to get Keystone approved. The oil and gas industry pumped $53.1 million into last year's congressional campaigns--87 percent of which went to Republican candidates. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell raked in $608,000 from the industry for his 2014 campaign, and now he is putting Keystone XL at the heart of his big polluter agenda. But this isn't just a battle over industry influence. This is a choice about the kind of nation we want to live in. Do we want to live in a country where expert reviews don't matter and industry profits trump our families' health? Do we want to lock ourselves into a fuel that generates 17 percent more climate change pollution than crude oil and makes our children more vulnerable to extreme weather? Or do we want something better?
ERM Group, the consultancy selected by TransCanada to conduct the environmental review for Keystone XL's northern leg on behalf of the U.S. State Department, once bribed a Chinese official to ram through major pieces of an industrial development project. ERM was tasked to push through the project in Hangzhou Bay, located near Shanghai.
There's no good reason to support Canadian tar sands expansion, much less allow more dirty tar sands oil into our country. Even though everything about tar sands oil is destructive, dirty, and dangerous, oil companies (and their champions on the Hill) are determined to bring as much of it as they can across our border, even if it means bending, breaking, or changing the rules.