mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Pipeline Politics
Keystone Could Be Up To Congress Now

Thanks to yesterday’s elections, Keystone supporters now boast a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. 61 Senators from both parties favor the construction of the international pipeline, and Republican leaders intend to make the most of the opportunity. The Huffington Post reports:

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Tuesday in an appearance on MSNBC that passing a Keystone approval bill would be the second item on the Republican agenda, after a budget. “I actually think the president will sign the bill on the Keystone pipeline because I think the pressure — he’s going to be boxed in on that, and I think it’s going to happen,” Priebus said.

The controversial 1,660-mile pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to Texas has been under consideration for six years. Because it crosses an international border, the permitting decision lies with the State Department. In April, the State Department again delayed a decision until a Nebraska court can resolve a lawsuit over the proposed route through the state. A decision in that case is expected later this year.

Because the pipeline crosses the U.S.-Canada border, its fate has lain—or, more accurately, languished—in the hands of the State Department. The Obama Administration has continually kicked the can down the road on this issue, perhaps, most recently, hoping to postpone a decision until after these elections. But a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate could now force the President’s hand.

And well it should. Now, some six years after the project’s original proposal, Keystone XL’s opponents are running out of arguments. A State Department report found that the project wouldn’t significantly affect greenhouse gas emissions, on the grounds that the oil it would be transporting would find its way to market some other way (and indeed already has). Not only is the pipeline route safer than its alternatives, but also polling also shows that the project enjoys widespread public support.

These midterm election results won’t automatically result in a decision. A 61-member majority still falls short of the 67 votes needed to overturn a Presidential veto. But the new Republican majority certainly gives Keystone supporters more leverage, which could lead our President to make a deal.

Features Icon
show comments
  • FriendlyGoat

    There has never been much likelihood that this pipeline would permanently stall. My understanding has always been that the time frame critically desired by the proponents for completion is still several years into the future.

    • Josephbleau

      So the delay in approval has been a sham to fool greens into supporting the current government?

      • Corlyss

        No. The envirothugs have no other options in terms of parties. They would vote Dim regardless – and here’s the important part – the pretense was that Doofus would ever SIGN the bill. The delay reflects his real priorities. The pretense was to keep voters fooled into thinking there was a scintilla of moderation in the unabashed and unwavering ideologue they put in office twice and to continue supporting the few hopelessly out maneuvered moderates Dims. The defeated moderates are not going to get a chance to vote on it, and the extremists re-elected will never vote for it under any circumstances.

        I’m in the school that thinks Doofus is not all that unhappy about the election result for a couple reasons. He thinks he never needed Congress anyway to do a lot of what he wants to achieve. He’s delivered to the next Dim presidential candidate a Congress led by people preternaturally disposed to overreach when they have the majority and anger voters. And the Dims left standing are True Believers in safe seats whose stupid Utopian electorates value their representatves’ True-Believerness.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    I will be glad to see Canadian oil flowing into the US to be refined and sold, I will also be glad to see Shale Oil on public lands get developed and America’s coming energy independence. America now imports about 30% of its oil needs, with the Canadian oil and oil developed on public lands, Oil being shipped to the US for anything other than refining and sale abroad could soon be the reality. All of this cheap energy and feed stocks will be a huge economic boon to America which already has the most efficient labor, most property protection, and therefore least risky place to locate production now with cheap energy and feed stocks for the foreseeable future. Investing in new state of the art factories in the US seems like a no brainer when you add in the world’s most developed infrastructure of ports, airports, railroads, roads, pipelines, and telecommunications in the world. If we could just get out of Great Depression 2.0, the 21st century could be another American Century.

  • Corlyss

    The pipeline is DEAD as long as that idiot is in the WH.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service