The 114th Republican led Congress begins today and you can be sure that moving forward with the Keystone XL pipeline will be at the top of their agenda.
However, the GOP is starting the year off on the defensive after it was discovered that House Majority Whip Steve Scalise attended a meeting of a white supremacists group founded by David Duke in 2002, Rep. Michael Grimm pleaded guilty to tax evasion and conservatives are trying to depose House Speaker John Boehner.
On Sunday, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) confirmed that a KXL bill will be the first to reach Obama’s desk in 2015.
It may not be as easy to advance the KXL as some had hoped. Republicans appear unlikely to secure enough Democrats to get the 60 Senate votes required to override Presidential veto.
Some Democrats like Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) are planning to introduce amendments to the Republican bill to keep the oil in the US rather than have it exported to other countries. Other Democratic amendments include a proposal that would require that the steel used in the pipeline is manufactured in teh US. Still others want to attach a rider that would provide investments in clean energy.
Even if we see such provisions, they are unlikely to garner the number of votes needed to override a veto.
Republicans are calling it a jobs bill, but the President has said the KXL will only provide a couple thousand jobs and he has previously made it clear that he will not support the KXL if it would be harmful to the environment.
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A Brief Review of the Keystone XL Saga
The Fate of the Keystone XL: The Ball is in Your Court Mr President
Refuting the Rationale for Approving the Keystone XL
Business Leaders, Scientists, Economists and Ordinary People Reject the Keystone XL
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Comparison of the Keystone XL and Renewable Energy
How Come the Keystone XL is so Hard to Kill