On Tuesday November 18th, the US Senate narrowly rejected a bill (2280) to speed approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. The motion needed 60 votes in favour to pass. The bill failed after 59 senators voted in favour and 41 were against. Predictably, all 45 Senate Republicans voted in favour of the legislation alongside 14 Democrats and Independents. The pipeline was approved last week for the ninth time by the Republican-dominated House of Representatives.
Republicans vow to reintroduce the measure in early next year when they take control of the Senate. While the Keystone may have been defeated, it will likely pass when the slate of pro-oil Republicans take office in the new year.
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and the incoming majority leader, said within minutes of the vote, “I look forward to the new Republican majority taking up and passing the Keystone jobs bill early in the new year.” Senator John Hoeven plans to reintroduce it in January or February.
This is not the first time a pro KXL bill died in the Senate. On May 12, 2014, a pro-KXL bill died in the Senate after Republican Senators blocked bi-partisan efforts to move forward the Shaheen-Portman energy efficiency bill. According to Dirty Energy Money database, a total of 21 million dollars was given to Senators who cosponsored the bill.
Senators who support the Keystone receive disproportionate support from the dirty energy industry. Senators cosponsoring the pro-Keystone XL bill have received roughly 5 times more in oil industry cash than those who remained off the bill.
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