WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, called on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to uphold his promise to return the Senate to ‘regular order’ and allow reasonable debate of Democratic amendments to a bill that would authorize the Keystone XL northern leg.
“It is disappointing that just over three weeks onto the new Congress, the new leader has lapsed to setting arbitrary deadlines to cut off even the most token of debate on Democratic amendments. I am among those senators who still have amendments pending. My amendment and others deserve a chance for an up or down vote; they deserve at least one minute of debate. Tabling amendments that would protect public health and preserve our environment serves no public interest.
“I have a long history of working across the aisle to get things done in both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. I’ve had the honor of serving the people of Maryland in both the majority and the minority party. It takes civility and mutual respect to work around the gridlock. At this time, we urgently need more of both in the Senate, if we are to find a path forward and get things done.”
Outstanding Cardin Amendments to S. 1 – Authorization of Keystone XL
S. Amdt. 75 – Protection from risks to public health and the environment from a leak or rupture. Requires an analysis of potential risks to nearby drinking water, to each Governor in pipeline areas where water could be affected. Each Governor could then submit a petition to have the construction moved to a different area. Additionally, private property owners with private wells that can prove their wells were safe before the construction and operation of the pipeline have then become contaminated by the project, would have expressed authority to sue the pipeline owner for damages.
S. Amdt. 5 – Requires regular reports to Congress on the means, process and compensation that landowners are being afforded as the result of Congresses intervention on behalf of TransCanada’s effort to build the Keystone XL.
S. Amdt. 124 – Nothing in the bill may change, suspend, or supersede, or abrogate any U.S. trust obligation or treaty requirement with respect to Indian nations, tribes, people, or organizations without consultation and their informed and express consent.
S. Amdt. 143 – Mandates a quarterly job report on the Keystone XL pipeline. Every 90 days the State Department must report to Congress the number of construction and operation jobs directly associated with the pipeline. It also requires a similar report to accompany the pipeline jobs report on jobs in the renewable energy sector.