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Public Statements

Shea-Porter Statement on H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act


Location: Washington, DC

This afternoon, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter issued the following statement regarding her opposition to H.R. 3, a bill that would stop environmental review of the Keystone pipeline and could leave taxpayers responsible for cleanup of future Keystone oil spills:

"This legislation is a huge giveaway to a foreign based oil company. As it stands, it will ensure that the United States will bear all of the risks of the Keystone XL pipeline with barely any reward. Instead of rushing to expedite this process, we should be making sure that steps are in place to ensure that the United States is compensated for the costs of maintaining the pipeline and cleaning up the inevitable spills.

"Currently, the IRS has ruled that tar sands oil is not the same as regular oil and therefore the companies distributing it do not have to pay into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. Keystone would result in massive amounts of this polluting substance being shipped across vast swathes of the United States and, if it spilled, this fund would have to pay for clean-up. Why taxpayers should be paying to clean up tar sands oil instead of the oil companies themselves is beyond me, but until this loophole is fixed, it is hard to see how the Keystone XL pipeline is anything more than a major liability for the United States and a huge giveaway to Big Oil.

"Instead of trying to address this gaping loophole in the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, H.R. 3 fast tracks a potentially costly pipeline while waiving all of the existing approvals and limiting oversight, not just for the initial construction, but for all time. I continue to be amazed by our inability to actually work to tackle real issues facing middle class families, instead of political posturing."

Yesterday, Congresswoman Shea-Porter offered two amendments to H.R. 3. The first would have clarified that nothing in H.R. 3 approves or authorizes any proposed pipeline activity between Portland, Maine and Montreal, Canada. The second would have required that TransCanada disclose its campaign contributions and other electioneering expenditures over the previous five years to the public before the Act would take effect.

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