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Senate Democrats may vote on Keystone in lame duck session

Nov 11- The U.S. Senate may hold a vote on a bill to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada when it returns from recess, largely to boost support for Democrat Mary Landrieu’s run-off election to retain her Louisiana seat.

Lawmakers return to Washington on Wednesday for a “lame duck” session and will try to wrap up some legislation, such as spending bills, before the Republicans take control of the Senate in the new year.

The $8 billion pipeline project would deliver heavy Canadian oil sands crude from Alberta to Nebraska and make it easier to deliver oil from North Dakota’s Bakken region to the U.S. Gulf Coast. It has languished for six years awaiting presidential approval, which is needed because the pipeline crosses a international border.

A senior Senate Democratic aide said in an interview that a Keystone approval vote in the lame duck session is under consideration but no decision has been made.

Another congressional aide said the measure to approve TransCanada’s pipeline could come as an amendment to a must-pass defense authorization bill.

In related news, Emboldened Republicans to strike early on Keystone pipeline approval.

Adam Jentleson, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s spokesman, did not confirm the possible vote, which was first reported by Bloomberg.

Aides say a vote on the pipeline would be intended to bolster Landrieu, chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Landrieu, seeking a fourth six-year term, faces Republican U.S. Representative Bill Cassidy in a run-off election on Dec. 6 after neither of them won more than 50 percent of the vote last week. Landrieu is one of a handful of congressional Democrats who have long supported of the pipeline.

Republicans have said they plan to push their own legislation for approval of the pipeline early in 2015.

Republican Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota said he has a bill that he plans to move and with a smattering of Democratic support expects to have over 60 votes after Republicans’ decisive victories in key Senate races on Nov. 4.

Matt Dempsey, a former Senate aide currently with the industry group Oil Sands Fact Check, said the election results showed the Keystone XL pipeline enjoys “overwhelming bipartisan support.”

“It’s no surprise, therefore, to see Congress quickly move to end President Obama’s endless delay,” he said. (Reporting By Valerie Volcovici and Richard Cowan; Editing by Ros Krasny and Steve Orlofsky)

52 comments

  1. What? Dungy Harry can’t sit on the bills control his minions anymore?

  2. How much will be bakken oil, and how much Canadian?

  3. Where does the oil end up and how does it benefit the American consumer?

  4. The only reason it needs presidential approval is because it crosses national borders. This pipeline isn’t that big of a deal

  5. And it has to give a certain percentage of its capacity to nodak to pick up crude

  6. @marty – it will end up in china and India and won’t benefit the American consumer at all.
    It may actually raise the cost of gasoline here.
    That’s capitalism.

    • Stan, you must have inside information!! Have you seen the shipper contacts for this project?? That is a really bold statement you have made about all of it going to China or India, so you must have seen contracts to back-up your rant. There is no validity in your argument that the cost of gasoline would increase in the US. Please educate me on this because I must know less than you

    • ^try reading something, instead of watch FOX or CNN That’s not a rant- it’s a fact. It’s not headed for a port so they can load tankers and ship the oil to Oklahoma.

    • capitalism – highest bidder.
      if it was going to be used here, they’d build refineries in kansas or somewhere in the central part of the united states to make distribution cheaper and easier. it would create more jobs. gas would go down.
      instead, they are sending it to houston where it can be loaded onto ships and sent to china.
      the people of the united states will pay for the pipeline with the cost of their gas and government subsidies. the oil companies will make billions and the people of the US will pay for it.
      i don’t need inside information.
      all i need is a a little common sense and knowledge of geography and capitalism.

    • It will probably go overseas, it hasn’t been a secret that the capacity is to expand some of the “offshore” refinery production in the Gulf. Since it is foreign oil and in those refineries it can be shipped to various foreign ports.

      Benefits to the USA consumer:
      Tax base for counties the pipeline crosses,
      Some jobs,
      More oil production in the world market *should* drive the price of crude oil down
      Economically strong Canada, is probably good for the US

    • They are trying to get the heavy oil to the gulf coast the refineries down there are designed to refine heavy crude into lighter ends. If their goal was to export the crude why wouldn’t they just run a line to Vancouver then export it to china? Your a bit off.

    • Very little heavy oil is even used in gasoline production because of the cost of refining it. Mainly this will benefit Americans in that it will help get our own oil out of the fields in ND to refineries that need it, helping to keep our costs down, and our dependence on OPEC at a minimum for the light oil needed to make gasoline. If we don’t have to pay OPEC for imported oil, the price at the pump will stay low!

  7. It’s hard making up your mind.

  8. After seeing the reckless destruction of the forest and the amount of waste created by it, I don’t support the tar sands in Canada

  9. With everyone saying it will end up in China. Look at a map. Why in the hell would they send it to the gulf coast? Don’t you think it’d make more sense sending it to west coast ports so it could be taken right to china or India?

  10. Why do we even let them get to vote ? Its just another way they can make big money being bought off. Its a no brainer….put it in ! & ANYONE who has held this up should be charged with being a terrorist !

    • see the black stuff running into the water supply for several cities there? that’s oil from a ruptured pipeline. it killed the trees and fish and wild life and destroyed people’s homes and made their neighborhood’s uninhabitable.
      THAT is terrorism.
      and it’s right here in the US.
      yeah…we need more of that, huh.

      http://www.bagnewsnotes.com/files/2013/04/Greenpeace-Mayflower-oil-spill.png

    • Thats just poor management. Dumb like a fox by buying the homes out forthe sands. The DNR POISONS WATER HERE TO KILL FISH SO THEY DONT EAT DUCKLINGS…..YEAH THEY DO ! There is ways of doing everything better yes no matter what you are doing there always a better way

    • We cant save the planet forever because it will burn up, explode, or colide so use it whilr we can. The gov does worse than that so go preach about area 51 or protest about nuke power waste if you are worried about pollution. It is all sad but we need cheaper fuels

  11. NO KEYSTONE EVER! You can not take our lands from us PERIOD! It’s nothing but a lie! It is all for export ever drop

  12. Also it will run across North Americas largest and shallowest aquifer, and if you think it’s safe look into the tar sands pipe that dumped a ton of oil into the wetlands of Alberta. This company has a terrible track record for safety

  13. Only 8% bakken oil . Reject it

  14. With economic pressure from Saudi Arabia, one would think it might be in our best interest to help level the playing field by reducing our own costs involved in domestic production. Stand up to those countries by being smart enough to do what is necessary to reduce the price of oil produced here in the United States.

  15. If you hate the oil business please stop using all of the products that are made from oil!! http://www.anwr.org/features/oiluses.htm

  16. Duck season starts in a few weeks.

  17. Dems think it’ll save Mary’s seat.. What hypocrites

  18. Nothing can save Mary’s seat at this point

  19. JoBama has made a deal with the RR, e a goo one mama ee

  20. Isn’t all the oil going to china? Who gets all the money? Who’s going to clean up all the spills?

  21. LIES ALL LIES! Wont put another dime back into the USA once it is completed. It goes from one free trade zone to another!

  22. Approve it ! It’s a win win situation for both America and Canada.

  23. If it means more jobs,I’m for it! Even if it means a few accidendental spills,the oil companies will clean it up. I also believe that once it is approved,its a simple matter of crossing state lines as the oil companies have been busy building the pipelines inside each state! Just a matter of connecting them together!

  24. The big picture is: They’ll pass it, not for the good of “We the People”, but simply as an attempt to win an election in Louisiana ….. sad. And the demoncrats (sic) wonder HOW the hell they lost the midterms.

  25. I don’t understand how we let foreign countries take American land under the law of imminent domain. I am In the oil and gas industry and absolutely object to it

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