Nasty stuff happens when you let other people think for you — especially if those people happen to be House Speaker John Boehner and his allies, who are still mourning the death of a bill last month that would have let them approve the Keystone Pipeline XL. The bill was killed in the Senate by just four votes.

Proponents of the bill were mostly Republican. However, a few Democrats joined Boehner, including our own Sen. Jim Webb, because they feared their chances for re-election might die along with the bill.

But every George Mason University student should be dancing on its grave.

The Keystone Pipeline XL is an anti-green project, and when I say “green” I mean your money. According to a September 2011 study by Cornell University, if Keystone XL is ever built, your gas could cost you between 10 and 20 cents more per gallon.

Unless you believe the June 2010 Perryman Group study, which claims that the building of Keystone XL would lower gas prices by an uncountable amount. Since the Perryman study was funded by TransCanada Corporation, the very company that wants to build Keystone XL, I think it’s safe to assume the people at Perryman Group weren’t being objective.

Boehner would prefer you didn’t know about this debate. “We can’t wait for this project to get started,” Boehner wrote in a recent letter to President Barack Obama. Boehner is exploiting an image in your head. He’s happy to let you think “this project” is a brand new pipeline and a solution to high gas prices.

What Boehner isn’t telling you is that the Keystone Pipeline already exists.

You read that right. The Keystone Pipeline was built almost two years ago. Even as you read this, it’s moving oil cheaply from the source in Canada to refineries in Illinois and Nebraska. Without that oil, your gas would be even more expensive. Boehner doesn’t want you to know that because he’s part of a plan to ship that oil overseas.

This plan is known as the “Keystone XL” project. If approved, the project will allow the pipeline’s owner, TransCanada Corp., to extend the already-built Keystone Pipeline all the way to Texas. Oil once bound for refineries in the heartland will end up in two major ports, Houston and Port Arthur.

Then it’s just a short boat ride through the Gulf of Mexico or the Panama Canal, and suddenly we’re paying a lot more for gas here in Fairfax. You see, Canadian oil companies don’t like the fact that Keystone has made your gas cheaper. Extending the pipeline to ports means they can sell the gas to other countries instead, creating an artificial shortage here that will only end when you’re willing to devote whole paychecks to your fuel tank.

If you don’t believe the oil will be exported, let me remind you it’s a free market. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, American corporations found it profitable to export 2.7 million barrels of oil out of the country every day last week. Trust me. Canadian oil companies aren’t going to feel guilty doing the same.

Boehner and company won’t feel guilty either, and I’ll close by clarifying their motives.

Just by reading this article you know more about Keystone XL than most Americans. If Boehner exploits that ignorance carefully, it could translate into a Republican victory in a tough election year.

And let’s not forget money. TransCanada and the oil companies that use Keystone are publically traded corporations. If you’re a wealthy politician like Boehner, you could make a fortune buying stock now and selling it after you help approve the Keystone XL scheme.

But what if you’re a regular Mason student? All Keystone XL offers you is higher gas prices.

Join the fight to keep your gas affordable. This issue will resurface and the Democratic side needs to refortify its defenses. Call Democrat-in-name Webb, who joined Boehner on this issue. Tell him you know what’s up, that you’re not fooled. Tell him that Mason students think with their brains and not with their Boehners.