Senate Rejects Keystone XL 56-42

Tar Sands Action/CC BY 2.0

Another GOP attempt to overrule President Obama's decision to deny a permit to the Keystone XL pipeline was defeated in the Senate today. The Republican leadership has made Keystone XL a top priority, and has passed a measure in the House that would approve. However, an amendment doing the same in the Senate fell well short of the needed votes.

Here's the Hill:

The 56-42 vote staves of an election-year rebuke of Obama, but will give political ammunition to backers of TransCanada Corp.’s plan to build a pipeline connecting Alberta’s massive tar sands projects to Gulf Coast refineries. Sixty votes were needed to move forward with the measure.

With gas prices rising, the issue has become an election-year political weapon for Republicans, who say President Obama is passing up a chance to boost U.S. energy security and create jobs.

Before we go any further, a couple reminders: The Keystone XL will raise gas prices in the Midwest. And the only independent study carried out on the topic has found that it will create very few employment opportunities, and may even end up costing the region jobs.

Nonetheless, Keystone backers have been rather successful in spreading their dubious talking points, and has won support even from some moderate Democrats. Here's Think Progress Green with the vote tally:

Democrats Max Baucus (MT), Begich (AK), Conrad (ND), Hagan (NC), Landrieu (LA), Manchin (WV), McCaskill (MO), Pryor (AR), Tester (MT), and Webb (VA) voted with Senate Republicans to strip authority for the pipeline’s approval from the president of the United States. Despite the intensity of climate activism in the region, New England Republicans Ayotte (NH), Brown (MA), Collins (ME), and Snowe (ME) stayed with the Republican bloc in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Environmental activist and author Bill McKibben, who has lead the fight against the tar sands pipeline, issued the following statement in the wake of the decision: "Today's vote was a temporary victory and there's no guarantee that it holds for the long run. But given that this thing was a 'no brainer' a year ago, it's pretty remarkable that people power was able to keep working, even in the oil-soaked Senate. We're grateful to the Administration for denying the permit and for Senate leadership for holding the line."

The Keystone XL has indeed been shot down for known, but you can bet the zombie pipeline will stagger to life yet again ...

Tags: Congress | Tar Sands | Tar Sands Action

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