Some Warning Flags Fly in Kansas Over Keystone XL Report
February 1, 2014

AP) – A new report from the U.S. State Department on the long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline has drawn varying reactions in Kansas, where a separate section of the pipeline is already operating.

The State Department on Friday raised no major environmental objections to the proposed $7 billion pipeline from Canada, though the report stops short of recommending its approval. Keystone XL would travel through Montana and South Dakota before reaching Nebraska. The existing spur runs through Kansas and Oklahoma to Texas.

Republicans and business and labor groups have urged Obama to approve the pipeline to create thousands of jobs and move toward North American energy independence. Opponents say the pipeline would carry “dirty oil” that contributes to global warming, and they also worry about a spill.

Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran, a Republican, said in a release the State Department report on the Keystone XL pipeline should push the “job-creating, domestic energy-producing project forward.”

“The Keystone XL pipeline would use the existing infrastructure to safely move crude through Kansas,” Moran said. “As the ongoing operation of the original Keystone pipeline illustrates, crude oil can be moved safely over long distances.”

Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo, also a Republican, said “it’s time to build” the pipeline.

“I’ve been urging the administration to move forward on this project, and now that this long anticipated environmental review is complete, it’s time,” Pompeo said in a release.

But Marion County Commissioner Dan Holub said his county and the five other counties where portions of the pipeline are located in Kansas did not see many benefits from the pipeline. Holub said he’d advise neighboring Nebraska and other states along the proposed Keystone XL route to “be afraid.”

“If I was a Nebraska County those guys are passing through, I would make sure they’d make good on their promises for jobs. We were promised jobs when they came through here. But … Marion County didn’t get squat,” Holub said. “They also promised us a lot of business for our hotels and restaurants, and that didn’t materialize either.”

Holub also said he’s concerned about the possibility of an increase in oil flowing through the Kansas section after the XL section is completed.

“I’m hoping we don’t see geysers starting to spring up everywhere now,” he said.

TransCanada spokesman Shawn Howard said in an email he didn’t have an immediate response to Holub’s concerns but was looking into the matter

Obama’s Speech Does Little To Sway KC Area Members of Congress
September 11, 2013

President Barack Obama’s Tuesday night speech on US involvement in Syria did not move many Member of Congress from Kansas and Missouri.
Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill, who is an ally of President Obama, says the President made “an important case” for why Syria is a threat to the U-S. McCaskill, however, has doubts.
“But, I also continue to weigh the possible consequences of military action. Over the coming days, I will continue to engage with my colleagues, evaluate classified information, and monitor a situation which continues to evolve on a daily basis,” said McCaskill in a Tuesday night statement after the speech.
Ks-3 Congressman Kevin Yoder told KMBC TV Wednesday morning he remains opposed to a U-S strike.
East Kansas Republican Lynn Jenkins took note of the string of developments Tuesday involving a potential Russian element to settle the crisis.
“However, while I am open to evolving diplomatic solutions, I remain unconvinced injecting our military into the middle of a violent civil war is in America’s best interest,” Jenkins said.
Kansas Senator Pat Roberts issued a statement after the President came to CapitolHill to seek seek support.
Roberts says during the August recess, “not as ingle Kansan” told him they supported a Syrian strike by the U-S. Roberts is very skeptical of the possibility of a diplomatic settlement.
““There is nothing I trust about the UN, Russia, or the Assad regime. By offering this diplomatic path, we are simply providing a delayed mechanism for the president to pursue his goal of a military strike when the regime does not comply. At that time, I believe Kansans, and all Americans, will feel the same as they do today– opposed to military strikes in Syria,” Roberts said in remarks before the speech.
Wichita Congressman Mike Pompeo is also doubtful.
““I am pleased that calls for a more robust strike against Syria have met with the possible outcome of the remove of chemical weapons from Assad. I hope this works, but I am always skeptical when Vladimir Putin is making an offer to help. Regardless, I remain convinced that the only way to assure Americans’ safety is by implementing a strategic and integrated plan that does more than simply ‘shoot across the bow,” Pompeo said

Huelskamp’s Gay Marriage Ban Plan Lacks Kansas Co- Sponsors
August 1, 2013

(AP) – A Kansas congressman’s legislation seeking a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage has picked up more support, but not from his Kansas colleagues.

Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp’s bill has picked up at least 47 co-sponsors in the U.S. House since its introduction a month ago. That includes 20 supporters added in July.

The Hutchinson News reports that absent from the list of co-sponsors are Kansas’ other three House members, all Republicans.

U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo says he strongly believes in defending traditional marriage and is looking at the amendment carefully. Reps. Kevin Yoder and Lynn Jenkins declined comment.

Huelskamp’s legislation is currently in a subcommittee. He introduced it after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in June

Kansas Congressional Delelgation Tells USDOT Chief, ‘Don’t Mess with Kansas’
May 24, 2012

Much of the Kansas Congressional delegation is urging US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood not to try to fix what is not broken.
Senators Pat Roberts, Jerry Moran as well as Reps, Lynn Jenkins, and Mike Pompeo want LaHood to keep the current general aviation research centers as they are because of their Kansas connections.
Both Kansas State University and Wichita State are part of a 10 college network for general aviation research known as the ‘Center of Excellence for General Aviation Research (CGAR)’. LaHood, according to the letter, may be considering starting a new similar program.
“With the expertise and technological facilities already in place within the current center, it would seem fiscally irresponsible to spend millions of dollars bringing a new center up to the level that already exists today”, states the letter signed by the Senators and the Members of Congress.
Other institutions included in the current aviation research network, according to their letter include Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the University of Alaska, Middle Tennessee State University, Rutgers University, Lewis University, Drexel University, and Arizona State University.

Area GOP Lawmakers Blast Obama Decision to Delay Keystone Pipeline, Cliam It Will Cost the Region Jobs
January 19, 2012

Many area Republican members of Congress condemned president Obama decision to block the Keystone oil pipeline plan. The line would run through east central Kansas and across the state of Missouri.
President Obama , at the very least, put the $7 billion dollar project on hold. He said there was not enough time to look at the plan in detail over the 60 day Congressional deadline.
Once again, the Obama Administration has blocked a real solution that would help create thousands of jobs without costing American taxpayers a dime.”
Blunt’s remarks were similar to those of several House members.
Western Missouri’s GOP Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler framed it in a jobs and energy decision.
“President Obama has chosen to placate a fringe element of his political base at the cost of 20,000 shovel-ready construction jobs, 118,000 jobs in related industries, and a guaranteed flow of energy from a friendly neighbor. The people of my district want high-paying jobs and lower prices at the pump.”
The main Keystone line would run through the heart of Kansas.
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback blasted it on economic terms, too.
“In a country that is struggling to boost its economy, create private sector jobs and meet its energy needs, approval of the Keystone project should have been a no-brainer. I hope the President reconsiders his decision. Our country needs the jobs”.
Both Kansas senator Mike Pompeo and Senator Jerry Moran sent a clear signal the fight over the pipeline is far from over.
In a news release Pompeo stated, “My colleagues and I will continue to work on a solution to the President’s obstruction that will promote job growth and domestic energy production”.