The Democrat-controlled Senate has defeated a bill to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
The Senate’s 59-41 vote Tuesday night was a nail-biter to the end. The bill needed 60 votes to reach the White House. The House passed it overwhelmingly last week.
President Barack Obama did not support the bill, but the White House has been mum on whether or not he will veto it. Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu pushed for the vote in an effort to save her seat in a Dec. 6 runoff election in Louisiana. She faces an uphill battle against Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy, who authored the House bill.
All Republicans said publicly they supported the Senate bill, as did several moderate Democrats.
Ohio Congressman Bob Gibbs said he is disappointed in the Senate’s Keystone vote. He said, “although the Senate continues to ignore the wishes of their constituents, the House passed legislation nine times, including last week’s vote to approve the pipeline. The creation of Keystone would push our country towards energy independence, and with a reliable energy source foster job creation. Transporting these types of liquids via pipeline is the safest and most efficient means of transporting these products.”
He went on to say, “tonight the Senate voted against the Keystone Pipeline, sending a message to the American people that energy independence is not a priority. The President and Senate continue to kill legislation that would boost our economy and create jobs. The inaction is frutrating, especially when so many Americans are ready to work and deserve reliable and affordable energy.”
Senator Joe Manchin also responded to the vote. “I am deeply disappointed that the Senate failed to pass the Keystone XL pipeline,” he said. “We have everything to gain by building this pipeline, especially since it would help create thousands of jobs right here at home. Keystone XL is expected to create 20,000 direct jobs during construction and 118,000 indirect and spinoff jobs. With well over 1,000 American businesses already supplying goods and services to pipeline companies, the ripple effects of these projects would continue to boost economic prosperity and create more employment opportunities in other industries. Every state – including West Virginia – would benefit economically from this activity.”
Manchin continued, “building the Keystone XL pipeline would not only create jobs, but it would limit our dependence on foreign oil. Energy security is often discussed, but the benefits of Keystone are much more than simple generalizations. The global supply of energy relies on oil producers in deeply unstable regions, and the Keystone pipeline would help stabilize global supply while also benefiting Americans and our allies.”