The new GOP-controlled Senate made good on its promise and passed a bill approving the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline this afternoon. The Hill reports:
The nine Democrats who voted to approve Keystone were Sens. Michael Bennet (Colo.), Tom Carper (Del.), Bob Casey (Pa.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Jon Tester and Mark Warner (Va.). […]The bill now heads to the House, where Republicans are determined to act quickly to force Obama into taking what they believe will be a politically unpopular stand against a project that would carry oil sands from Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast.
This wasn’t unexpected, and neither was the fact that only 62 Senators voted in favor—5 short of the two-thirds majority needed to override the veto President Obama has promised. So now the bill will be reconciled with the House’s version, which passed some time ago, and sent to the President’s desk, where it almost certainly will go unsigned.This latest maneuver will grab headlines, but it won’t push Keystone out of the regulatory purgatory it has languished in for the past six years. It is, in other words, business as usual.