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Keystone XL Fails In Senate

{!hitembed ID=”hitembed_1″ width=”500″ height=”300″ align=”none” !}

In a somewhat encouraging sign for the country and terrible event for the re-election prospects of Senator Mary Landrieu, the Keystone XL bill died yesterday in the Senate by one vote: 59-41. Landrieu has come to believe that getting the Keystone XL pipeline authorized to be built would help her chances to win a run-off in Louisiana. She was able to peel off 14 Senate Democrats to help advance the bill but it was not quite enough.

Now that building the Keystone XL pipeline is no longer tied to a Senate Democrat’s re-election it is unknown whether the 14 Democrats who voted for the pipeline will once again oppose the climate killing pipeline when Republicans take control of the Senate in the next session. Likely soon to be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proclaimed the Republicans now had “momentum” to get Keystone passed in the next session.

Speaking after her bill was defeated, Ms. Landrieu — who stood ramrod straight with her hands clasped in front of her, watching over the vote in the center of the Senate floor — talked about fighting to pass the Keystone bill, but she very well could have been speaking of her own political future. “I came here 18 years ago, fighting to get here, fighting to stay here, and I’m going to fight for the people of my state until the day that I leave — I hope that will not be soon,” Ms. Landrieu said. “There’s only joy in the fight. Where I come from, we just never talk about quitting, and we don’t talk about whining.”…

Given the number of Democrats who supported the bill on Tuesday, Republicans may well be able to muster a filibuster-proof 60 votes to pass the pipeline in the next Congress, but they are still likely to fall a few votes short of 67, the number required to override a presidential veto.

Will President Obama veto? It is by no means a foregone conclusion. If Obama opposes building the pipeline he has been playing an interesting game in terms of public statements and actions. Obama’s State Department cut corners to offer a rationalization for why building the Keystone XL would not contribute to climate change. It was later revealed that a TransCanada consultant had contributed to the report.

Outside of oil and gas company shilling there is not much of an argument for the Keystone XL pipeline which will ship dirty tar sand oil from Canada across the United States for export to China and elsewhere. The job creation is minimal, the hazards to the climate immense, and the ultimate beneficiaries non-American. And thanks in no small part to US domestic energy production the price of oil has dropped to the point where extraction of dirty tar sand oil is not really worth it at the moment anyway.

Landrieu is currently trailing her opponent by well over 10 points in polls on the Louisiana Senate run-off.

CommunityThe Bullpen

Keystone XL Fails In Senate

{!hitembed ID=”hitembed_1″ width=”500″ height=”300″ align=”none” !}

In a somewhat encouraging sign for the country and terrible event for the re-election prospects of Senator Mary Landrieu, the Keystone XL bill died yesterday in the Senate by one vote: 59-41. Landrieu has come to believe that getting the Keystone XL pipeline authorized to be built would help her chances to win a run-off in Louisiana. She was able to peel off 14 Senate Democrats to help advance the bill but it was not quite enough.

Now that building the Keystone XL pipeline is no longer tied to a Senate Democrat’s re-election it is unknown whether the 14 Democrats who voted for the pipeline will once again oppose the climate killing pipeline when Republicans take control of the Senate in the next session. Likely soon to be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proclaimed the Republicans now had “momentum” to get Keystone passed in the next session.

Speaking after her bill was defeated, Ms. Landrieu — who stood ramrod straight with her hands clasped in front of her, watching over the vote in the center of the Senate floor — talked about fighting to pass the Keystone bill, but she very well could have been speaking of her own political future. “I came here 18 years ago, fighting to get here, fighting to stay here, and I’m going to fight for the people of my state until the day that I leave — I hope that will not be soon,” Ms. Landrieu said. “There’s only joy in the fight. Where I come from, we just never talk about quitting, and we don’t talk about whining.”…

Given the number of Democrats who supported the bill on Tuesday, Republicans may well be able to muster a filibuster-proof 60 votes to pass the pipeline in the next Congress, but they are still likely to fall a few votes short of 67, the number required to override a presidential veto.

Will President Obama veto? It is by no means a foregone conclusion. If Obama opposes building the pipeline he has been playing an interesting game in terms of public statements and actions. Obama’s State Department cut corners to offer a rationalization for why building the Keystone XL would not contribute to climate change. It was later revealed that a TransCanada consultant had contributed to the report.

Outside of oil and gas company shilling there is not much of an argument for the Keystone XL pipeline which will ship dirty tar sand oil from Canada across the United States for export to China and elsewhere. The job creation is minimal, the hazards to the climate immense, and the ultimate beneficiaries non-American. And thanks in no small part to US domestic energy production the price of oil has dropped to the point where extraction of dirty tar sand oil is not really worth it at the moment anyway.

Landrieu is currently trailing her opponent by well over 10 points in polls on the Louisiana Senate run-off.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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