The GOP proposal to reopen the Keystone XL pipeline failed to get the 60-votes it needs to pass in the Senate, but the vote was very close. There were 56 votes in favor, with 42 in opposition. Republicans may have introduced the rider on the transportation bill but 11 Democrats supported the Republican measure.
If the proposal had passed, there would not have been enough time for an environmental review. The Republicans had previously forced a February 21 deadline into legislation extending the federal payroll tax cut.
Democrats offered their own proposal, which they said would grant time for the necessary environmental studies. That proposal also would have required the project to use US construction materials and would have banned the export of oil transported by the pipeline. But the Democrats’ proposal was defeated soundly, with only 34 senators voting in favor of it and 64 opposing it.
Other Republican measures to expand offshore drilling and delay for years new pollution standards for boilers used in paper plants and refineries also failed.
© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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