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Four States Introduce Keystone XL Resolutions, Lifting Language from ALEC and TransCanada Itself

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Environment and Climate Resource Center page and our Politics and Democracy page.

Legislators in four states have introduced bills in recent weeks supporting the controversial TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline, with language that appears to have been lifted directly from a "model" American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) bill and from TransCanada's own public relations talking points.

Some of the first bills proposed in Missouri, Mississippi, Michigan and Minnesota in 2013 have been resolutions calling on the president and Congress to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which the Obama administration delayed last year in response to a wave of protest and civil disobedience. Environmentalists oppose the pipeline because extracting oil from Canadian tar sands would unlock huge amounts of carbon, increasing the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. Rallies are planned for this weekend to hold President Obama to his promise to fight climate change by urging him to not approve Keystone XL's pipeline application.

Missouri Resolution Tracks ALEC Model

The Missouri resolution is nearly identical to an ALEC "model" resolution approved at the December 2011 ALEC meeting. TransCanada had been a member of the ALEC Energy, Environment, and Agriculture Task Force in 2010 (along with oil companies like BP and Exxon Mobil). In states like Ohio and South Dakota, the corporation paid into the state "scholarship" fund that pays for legislators' flights and hotel rooms to ALEC meetings. The ALEC resolution has been passed in a handful of states.
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