The White Nationalist’s side is now turning to the oil and gas industry to save the nation’s infrastructure from the Keystone Pipeline, according to two administration officials.
In a Friday memo to White House chief of staff John Kelly, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and its allies in Congress wrote to the administration urging it to abandon the project.
The NRCC, which is heavily funded by oil and natural gas companies, says the pipeline would not only add thousands of jobs to the country’s economy but would also help protect the environment.
“It is essential to protect our environment from the harmful impacts of this pipeline,” the NRCC wrote in a letter to Kelly.
The letter was signed by NRCC Chairman Greg Walden, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), and others who have been instrumental in the fight against the pipeline.
A group of House Democrats have proposed a resolution that would block the project from going forward, while another group of Republican lawmakers have also introduced a bill that would require a full environmental impact statement before construction can begin.
Both of these resolutions are unlikely to garner the 60 votes needed to pass.
Last week, President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly vowed to “rip up” the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, signed an executive order that requires the Environmental Protection Agency to issue a report on the pipeline and its environmental impacts.
This comes amid growing pressure on the White House to halt construction of the pipeline, which the administration has said would create up to 800,000 direct jobs.
Meanwhile, an investigation by the New York Times found that oil companies spent $1.3 million lobbying against the Keystone project in the first six months of 2018.
“The Trump administration’s move to reverse the Obama administration’s decision to approve the Keystone pipeline has sent a clear signal to the rest of the world that they are unwilling to work with America,” NRCC Executive Director Matt Schlapp said in a statement.
“The president’s decision was not an accident, but rather a calculated move to ensure his reelection.
It is clear that the Trump administration sees the Keystone deal as a major political liability, and has already threatened to veto it should it come to that.”