By Maddy Sardina
Who is Mary Landrieu?
Mary L. Landrieu was first elected to the Louisiana state legislature when she was twenty-three. She served eight years as a state representative and two terms as State Treasurer and became the first woman from Louisiana elected to a full term in the U.S. Senate. She is the Chair of the Senate Small Business Committee, Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security and a member of the Energy and Natural Resources, and Homeland Security and Government Affairs committees.
What does she care about?
She is very involved with environmental issues, such as the recovery of the Gulf Coast after the 2009 oil spill and and emergency response issues such as the recovery of coastal Louisiana after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. She introduced the RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act to address the economic and environmental damage to the American coast. The RESTORE Act is considered the largest single investment in environmental restoration in U.S. history. She coauthored the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, which expanded oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico by more than eight-million acres and shares revenues with Louisiana to restore and protect the eroding wetlands along the Gulf Coast.
What is the Keystone Pipeline?
The Keystone Pipeline is a pipeline system that will be used to transport synthetic crude oil from Alberta, Canada, and crude oil from the northern United States to refineries in the Gulf Coast of Texas. Phases One and Two of the pipeline construction have already been completed. However, Phases Three and Four, has turned into a very controversial debate as it would have a large impact on Nebraska's environmentally sensitive regions. A number of changes have been proposed in an attempt to make the pipeline more environmentally safe, but environmentalists still believe that the environmental issues with the pipeline are too prominent to allow the project to continue.
Mary Landrieu and the Keystone Pipeline
Despite her environmentalist beliefs, Landrieu is in support of the Keystone Pipeline. She believes the pipeline is a strong job creator with minimal effects on the environment. It will play a critical role in the United States' energy security and has tremendous economic benefits. With Nebraska finally on board, every state involved has realized the economic benefits of this project. It will improve the infrastructure of the country and benefit the region surrounding the pipeline as a whole. Not to mention the new source of oil would decrease the need to drill in the Gulf Coast, thus reducing the danger to the Gulf's delicate environment.