03/07/2012 09:02 am ET Updated Mar 07, 2012

Keystone XL Opponents Announce New Ad Buy Linking Pipeline With Higher Gas Prices

WASHINGTON -- Keystone XL pipeline opponents have announced a new ad buy, hitting back on gas prices ahead of what could be a critical vote in the Senate to overlook the State Department and approve the pipeline using Congress’ authority under the commerce clause.

The ad buy, which comes after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he'd consider a vote on a transportation bill amendment sponsored by Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), aims to convince lawmakers and pipeline opponents that the completion of the Keystone XL pipeline would result in higher domestic gas prices. There's been considerable debate around the issue, with opponents of the pipeline arguing its construction could raise prices at the pump by 10 to 20 cents per gallon in the Midwest and Rocky Mountains.

Hoeven's amendment would strip the State Department of its authority to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline, handing it instead to Congress. Until recently, Reid had repeatedly vowed not to consider it as part of the transportation bill unless it included provisions promising the oil, once refined, would be kept in the U.S.

The ads, slated to appear Wednesday afternoon on the website of citizen's group Americans Against Big Oil Ripoffs, will make a connection between the completion of the tar sands pipeline and higher gas prices.

The ad buy comes as part of a larger campaign to stop the pipeline, spearheaded by grassroots organization 350.org, which last month delivered 800,000 signatures opposing the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline to the U.S. Capitol.