Senate committee advances Keystone XL pipeline for vote
A Senate committee has approved a bill that would bypass President Obama and permit the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline, part of a drive by a bipartisan group of lawmakers to force a vote by the full Senate.
The Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 12-10 on Wednesday for legislation that would let Calgary-based TransCanada Corp. build, then operate the $5.4 billion Canada-to-U.S. oil pipeline that has been snagged in disputes for more than five years. Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Chairman Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, who helped write the bill, joined all of the Republicans in backing the legislation.
“This is about what our future energy policy should look like,” said Landrieu, pointing to the need to boost construction employment and expand oil imports from Canada and Mexico, both longtime allies.
The measure's prospects are not good, however. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who sets the agenda for chamber action, has not agreed to bring the issue up for a vote. Obama could veto it if it did pass.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed the committee action as a “political show vote.”
“The question isn't whether energy-state Democrats can support a Keystone bill in committee,” McConnell, R-Ky., wrote in an e-mailed statement. “It's whether or not they'll continue to stand with their party and their leader in blocking the full Senate from voting on it, or whether they'll stand up for jobs and demand a vote.”
Public protests, legal tussles and delays have plagued the Keystone XL pipeline for years.
Former Vice President Al Gore, who shared a Nobel Peace Prize for advocating action on climate change, wrote in Rolling Stone magazine's June 18 issue that Obama “has signaled that he is likely to reject the absurdly reckless Keystone-XL pipeline.”
Gore does not say what signals Obama has sent on Keystone.
Meanwhile, TransCanada Corp., the company behind the project, will need to jump another hurdle when the permit it needs to build in South Dakota expires on June 29, InsideClimate News reported.
The reapplication process will open the door for public comments and could lead to a hearing, adding further delays to the pipeline's review, now in its sixth year.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Coal’s worst fears affirmed in analysis of Obama climate plan
- Obama reaches out to Jewish community
- Police officials rethink approach to training
- Senate still works on NSA proposal as deadline nears
- 28 evacuated as fire hits oil platform off Louisiana coast
- Couple pleads not guilty in Kentucky bourbon thefts
- Cuban talks to continue
- Senate OKs fast-track trade bill sought by Obama
- As oil production soars, so do pipeline leaks
- Giant hole forms near golf course
- Suspect in killings of wealthy D.C. family arrested