Pipeline to Nowhere

Keystone XL Pipeline new

Here’s the new design of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

As Congress begins work (theoretically, anyway) on another legislative session today, President Obama is making it clear that he will not sign a bill that would authorize construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. As CNN reports, Senate Democrats believe they have the votes to sustain a potential veto:

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the first bill he'll move once the GOP takes charge of the chamber on Tuesday is one that would authorize construction of the long-delayed pipeline.

But many expect President Barack Obama would veto such legislation, given his criticism of the 1,179-mile pipeline's potential benefits. The project is currently in the hands of his State Department, which must green-light the pipeline since it crosses international borders. 

If Republicans follow through on their promises, and Obama is being read correctly, that would mean the GOP would need to win the support of enough Democrats to secure a two-thirds majority vote in order to override Obama's veto — putting the Keystone project's hands in the fate of Senate Democrats.

Sen. Chuck Schumer says flatly the project won't move forward — at least in its current form. "We will have enough votes to sustain a presidential veto," [Pols emphasis] the New York Democrat told CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday.

Schumer said Democrats plan to offer several amendments to the Keystone bill.

Congressional Republicans could go ahead and try to pass a Keystone Pipeline bill and essentially dare President Obama to veto the legislation, but to what end? Republicans made significant gains in both the House and Senate in 2014 while demonizing President Obama to attract voters to their side. But in case you haven't heard, Obama is term-limited; Republicans can't use Obama to win mid-term elections anymore, and it's hard to think that this issue has enough legs to still be important as a campaign issue in 2016.

Republicans could pass a Keystone Pipeline bill, Obama could veto the bill, and Senate Democrats could sustain the veto. And then what? There will be plenty of hooting and hollering from the pro-Keystone crowd, but there won't be anything left to do about it.

10 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Moderatus says:

    Since you support sending our money to Middle Eastern sheikhs and Putin, no surprise.

    • BlueCat says:

      Just as dumb as last time you posted it and just as entirely irrelevant to the pipeline debate. Is that really the best you can do?  Not even going to try to celebrate the New Year with a single attempt at an independent thought?  Never mind. Rhetorical question.

    • OrangeFree says:

      Hmmm…

      That's funny, considering the vast majority of our petroleum comes from people who speak English (and some French) and Spanish, not Arabic and Russian. 

      • BlueCat says:

        Europeans depend heavily on Middle Eastern and Russian oil. Not us. And the pipeline won't give us our own supply at our own price. That's not how it works. Right now we have the Saudis to thank for those low prices at the pump. They don't want to let it get too profitable for American companies.  And, of course, this is a Canadian project. Other than that, Modster's "logic" (or just regurgitation of something floating around the wacko right internet) is unassailable.

        Net permanent jobs projected as a result of this magical pipeline? Something like 35. Direct temporary jobs? A few thousand.  We could easily create more well paying jobs than the pipeline will, even in the short term, by mandating a living wage. That would turn millions of jobs into decent jobs that would pump money into our consumer economy,  supporting more businesses and creating more jobs, over night.

        Besides, I think all those pictures of GW kissing and holding hands with Saudi princes are much cuter. Why doesn't modster ever post any of those? They're as adorable as kittens and puppies. What do righties have against adorable kittens, puppies and bromance with our Saudi buddies? 

    • FrankUnderwood says:

      I heard the Bush family had put together a PAC in anticipation of Jeb's campaign next year.  Is this it?

  2. MichaelBowman says:

    .While the peacocks fluff their pro-vote feathers and pay homage to their financiers, the rest of the world blazes ahead.  Come on, Murika….

    Scotland Could Be Fossil-Fuel Free by 2030

    "However, the report says CCS is not needed to decarbonise Scotland’s electricity sector and concludes “a renewables-based, efficient, flexible, electricity system is perfectly feasible by 2030” given Scotland’s abundance of wind and wave energy resources and strong tradition of engineering innovation."

     

  3. FrankUnderwood says:

    I'm really surprised this is S.B. 1.  I figured the bill repealing Obamacare for the 59th (or is it 60th) time would take pride of place

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