Politics

Why Did This Republican Vote Against The Keystone Pipeline?

Michigan Rep. Justin Amash was the sole Republican in the House to vote against the latest version of the bill advancing the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Amash says he supports the construction of the pipeline, but he opposes legislation singling out one company. He has previously voted present on Keystone, but the addition of “new, unrelated sections empowering the EPA and the federal government with respect to local energy efficiency” pushed him to a no.

In a statement published on his Facebook page, the tea party favorite said that the bill includes a lot of cronyism. Since 2013 he has argued against simply giving TransCanada, the builder of Keystone, an exemption from government permits. “A proper bill would address the circumstances that allow *any* such project to be held up for political reasons, not just Keystone XL,” he said on his Facebook page on June 8, 2013.

Amash has said legislation permitting Keystone “uses improper means to accomplish its laudable goal by singling out TransCanada Corporation and its Keystone XL pipeline for special treatment.”

A GOP primary challenger unsuccessfully raised the Keystone issue against Amash in 2014.

A fellow Michigan Republican, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, argued in favor of pipeline. The Associated Press quoted Upton as saying, “The evidence is in. The case ought to be closed.”

The Keystone bill passed the House 270-152.

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