Connie Mack Calls for Keystone Pipeline As New Rerouted Application Filed

By: Jim Turner | Posted: May 5, 2012 3:55 AM
Connie Mack

Rep. Connie Mack

U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fort Myers, seeking to take on U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Orlando, in November, continued to press the Keystone XL Pipeline issue against the incumbent, as a new application was filed for the political hot potato on Friday.

“We know it will bring more oil to the United States; instead of buying it from Hugo Chavez and dictators and thugocrats around the world, we can buy it from a friend,” Mack said outside a Shell gas station along the southern arc of Tallahassee's Capitol Circle on Friday. “So we’re telling him to build it now.”

Representatives for Nelson were not immediately available for comment.

Mack, who has opposed oil drilling off Florida’s shoreline, has been hosting similar press conferences in other parts of Florida this week as Congress is out of session.

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The argument is to drive home that building the $7 billion pipeline would lower gas prices and make the U.S. less dependent on foreign oil from Venezuela and the Middle East, Mack said.

“The pipeline was first requested in 2008; not one but two environmental impact studies were done,” Mack said. “And after much gamesmanship the White House decided to side with the environmentalists over the people of the state of Florida and the American people.”

Despite the intervening years of study, President Obama claimed more time was needed to look at safety and environmental impacts. He rejected the House attempt to authorize the construction of the pipeline, running from Canada to Texas refineries, in February.

On Friday, TransCanada refilled the application with the State Department, with the plans including a reworked route through Nebraska, where bipartisan efforts had opposed the initial plan to go through the sensitive Sandhills region and across the Ogallala Aquifer.

The new route is to travel east of the Sandhills.

In a release, the State Department officials on Friday stated that they would hire a third party to help review the new plan, with a determination for completion by the first quarter of 2013.

Mack has also been using his campaign stops to push a national online campaign to gather signatures supporting the pipeline and push his legislation to give Congress authority to approve the project.

An April 18 poll by Public Policy Polling, a firm with connections to prominent Democrats, placed Nelson with a 47-37 advantage over Mack, while the Orlando Democrat with four decades before voters was up 48-34 over former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux and 47-35 ahead of businessman and retired Army officer Mike McCalister.

Reach Jim Turner at jturner@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 215-9889.

Comments (2)

1:28PM MAY 8TH 2012
Yes, for god's sake, let's approve this before it even gets reviewed!

Damn all laws, full speed ahead!

If this proposal now complies with the law, I have no doubt it will be approved, but under the law, not despite the law as a mediocre Senate candidate would try to spin it for potential personal political gains.

Nebraska and its farmers using the Ogallala Aquifer give thanks to the "Obama delay" that got the earlier proposal rerouted.
10:53AM MAY 7TH 2012
The pretend Republicans do NOT believe in individuals' property rights - they believe that all property within the United States should be owned only by governments and corporations - including foreign nation corporations. They can always come up with the excuse for the eminent domain to apply as "the good of the nation".

Show us the guarantee that the Alberta oil will ONLY be sold to the US, instead of making it tax-free refining for the Chinese. Unless there is a guarantee, with our federal government confiscating the entire pipeline if one drop is NOT sold to the US. Otherwise, have them build their pipeline on Canadian soil.

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