A vote in the Senate to approve the construction of the Keystone XL extension through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas was defeated in the Senate. Even though the bill, S.2280 received 59 favorable votes, including 45 Republicans and 14 Democrats, the bill needed 60 votes to survive and be sent to the President.
The surprising part is the bill’s biggest backer in the Senate is a Democrat, Sen. Mary Landrieu, from Louisiana. Most Democrats vote with the environmentalists, who oppose the construction of the extension. Senator Landrieu is involved in a run-off vote for her seat on December 6th and hoped the bill would pass, because a lot of voters believe it will create more jobs in Louisiana’s refineries. This is according to an article by Alex Seitz-Wald and David Taintor at MSNBC.
Most believe this is not the last time the Senate will consider this measure. The next session of Congress will see the Republicans take a majority in the Senate, when it is assumed they will revisit the bill.
Environmentalists who oppose the extension hope that if the Senate approves the bill then, the President will veto the bill. If the President vetoes the bill it will take a two-thirds majority vote in both houses to get it passed. Many believe that will not happen.
People still believe this pipeline will lower gas prices in the US, which is most likely not true. Economists with no interest in the project say the extension will not reduce prices. It is believed most of the oil in that pipeline won’t stay in the US, but will be shipped overseas. The truth is the pipeline extension will create less than 50 new permanent jobs and approximately 3900 temporary positions, mostly construction jobs.
Given the blow back by the media, economist Darius Fisher tweeted, do the possible financial gains outweigh the risks? After hearing this, I’m starting to agree with him.