Keystone XL Pipeline

Is It Over?

Posted on Updated on

Senator Reid to allow a vote this evening, after several hours of debate.

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UPDATE:  November 18, 2014

Maine’s Sen. King to vote against Keystone pipeline

[Reprint From Yahoo! News]


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senator Angus King of Maine, who was seen as a swing vote on the Keystone XL pipeline, on Tuesday said he will vote “no” on the legislation for the controversial project.

In a statement, the independent senator said: “Congress is not – nor should it be – in the business of legislating the approval or disapproval of a construction project.” He also said he is frustrated that U.S. President Barack Obama has not made a decision on the future of the pipeline and urged him to decide soon.

(Reporting by Timothy Gardner and Susan Heavey; Editing by Bill Trott)

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Second Update:  November 18, 2014  [3:00 pm]

In a live interview today with Julie Mason (XM Radio, The Press Pool), Christian Science Monitor White House Correspondent, Linda Feldmann, stated that Maine’s Senator Angus King is hinting that he does not yet know how he will cast his vote on the Keystone XL Pipeline bill.

Feldmann added that FS Senator Hillary Clinton is also being cagey about her stance on this issue.

Bottom line, guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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Final Update:  November 19, 2014  [4:00 am]

[Excerpt From: The Rundown, PBS Newshour]

Keystone pipeline bill fails by one vote in Senate

By Quinn Bowman  November 18, 2014 at 6:59 PM EST

  A copy of S. 2280, a bill which would approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, is arranged for a photograph in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Nov. 17, 2014. U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu and other supporters of a bill to approve TransCanada Corp.'s Keystone XL pipeline are still one vote shy of the 60 needed as time runs short before tomorrow's vote. Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Proponents of a measure that would approve the construction of a section of a pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico failed to get enough votes in the U.S. Senate to pass it, marking another chapter in years-long debate that put the Obama White House on the defensive.

The pipeline measure needed 60 votes for approval — the final vote Tuesday was 59 yeas and 41 nos.

Louisiana Democrat Mary Landrieu led the charge for passage, joined by all Senate Republicans. Democrats and Republicans agreed to hold a vote on the issue after the recent midterm elections.  Senate Democrats attempted to hold a Keystone vote earlier this year, but Republicans blocked an agreement that would have led to that vote.

Neither Landrieu nor her Republican challenger, Rep. Bill Cassidy, got enough votes to prevent a Dec. 6 runoff.  Approval of the pipeline is widely seen as a bid to boost Landrieu’s chances at winning the runoff, in which she is currently trailing in polls.

While the White House didn’t commit to a decision on vetoing the bill had it passed the Senate (it passed the House last week), the Obama administration has not been eager to approve the pipeline. Because the pipeline crosses the border with Canada, the State Department and the White House have authority over approving its construction. That approval process has been in the works for six years.

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., made it clear Congress isn’t done with the issue.

“Once the 114th Congress convenes, the Senate will act again on this important legislation, and I look forward to the new Republican majority taking up and passing the Keystone jobs bill early in the New Year,” he said in a statement immediately following the vote. . . .

A State Department review found that the project would create 42,000 jobs during a hypothetical two-year construction period. But afterward, just 50 permanent jobs would be created from its construction.The Washington Post points out that the U.S. economy produces about 7,000 jobs a day.

And the State Department found in its environmental analysis that construction of this particular pipe section would have little impact on climate change because the tar sands oil in Canada would be extracted and delivered one way or another.

But on Capitol Hill, politics often matters most.

So while the project, if eventually approved by the president, won’t likely create many permanent jobs or make a big difference to climate change — it has been useful as a political vehicle for Democrats and Republicans alike.

The End

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