Senate Democrats pushing Reid to allow a vote on pro-Keystone XL legislation

posted at 5:01 pm on May 1, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

The Senate reconvened this week for the first time since the Obama administration’s Good-Friday announcement of their latest and perhaps lamest excuse for pushing the Keystone XL pipeline decision past another clutch election season — this time, a judge’s injunction against the proposed pipeline route in Nebraska is serving as the pretext — and the pipeline’s fate has been a big behind-the-scenes topic of debate in the upper chamber. Pro-energy/pipeline Republicans and Democrats alike were publicly livid about the administration’s non-decision, and several select senators have been trying to organize a vote on a bill that would effectively take the approval authority out of the executive’s hands. Via The Hill:

Keystone XL supporters on Thursday introduced legislation they said was backed by 56 senators that would immediately greenlight the controversial oil pipeline.

“I have 56 hard yeses,” Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), who introduced the bill with Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), told reporters Thursday.

“Beyond that I’ve got six or seven maybes. Our challenge is going to be to get to 60 votes,” he said. …

Hoeven said talks are still in the works with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to get the bill to the floor. …

Landrieu says she wants a vote on stand-alone legislation, and seemed adamant that anything else was out of the question on Thursday.

“The decision has already been made — we are moving forward on a vote on Keystone, and we are going to move forward on the energy efficiency bill,” Landrieu said.

Heitkamp, Hagan, Pryor, Tester, Warner, McCaskill, Manchin, Begich, Walsh, and Donnelly are the ten other Democrats already signed up along with Landrieu, who is going to make the biggest deal possible out of the whole Keystone XL mess — the better to demonstrate to her constituents in Louisiana that she’s making the most out of her Energy Committee chairmanship influence and can get the job done on pro-energy agenda items. When the Senate voted on a nonbinding, symbolically Keystone-supportive resolution about this time last year, the count was 62 yeas and 37 nays — enough to overcome any filibusters but not enough to overcome a veto from the White House (which Obama did threaten to do when Congress was considering legit legislation back in 2012).

Even if they can’t quite rack up the 66-senator veto-proof majority, the legislation would helpfully spotlight the pressure that vulnerable red-state Democrats are trying to put on him — which is probably why Reid has so far been pretty noncommittal on whether he’ll allow a for-real vote on the whole thing at all:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) has indicated in the last couple of days that he’s open to a vote. But in agreeing to one, he’s in the difficult position of having to decide whether to make it a binding measure that would somehow force the Obama administration’s hand, or just a resolution of support for the pipeline. …

Whether to even schedule a vote has created a challenge for Senate Democratic leaders. If they avoiding one, they’d play into the hands of Republicans, who argue that if Democrats were serious about helping wage earners, they would authorize construction of the pipeline and the jobs it would create. By scheduling a vote, they boost lawmakers like Ms. Landrieu, who is in a tough re-election battle, but risk splitting their party, which is divided between oil-state Democrats on one side and environmental-leaning Democrats on the other.

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See, this is all the result of 1) brave Democrats heroically standing up for the little guy to help them afford to live or 2) evil Rethuglicans determined to sacrifice children to Big Oil for the sake of oil money.

Democrats don’t do wrong and Republicans don’t do right. Ever. And that’s the way the world is!

— your local MSM reporter.

Vanceone on May 1, 2014 at 5:04 PM


Democrats will always show you what they fear

jake-the-goose on May 1, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Do they have more than 62 votes this time around?

jimver on May 1, 2014 at 5:09 PM

Keystone, oil, natural gas, the total answer to America’s problems. Jobs, lower energy prices, energy independence, creates position of power from which to negotiate, eliminate taxes, ensure the dollar remains the world currency.

Sven on May 1, 2014 at 5:13 PM

How about doing the right thing for the American people for a change? Nah.

jmtham156 on May 1, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Don’t do it, Harry Koch! Your brothers are evil! Don’t let them bury you!

22044 on May 1, 2014 at 5:15 PM


Meanwhile, Rand Paul Stands with Israel

JohnGalt23 on May 1, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Not enough trains carrying oil are going up in flames for the environuts and Obama.

We need to invest in more gerbil-generated fuel.

BuckeyeSam on May 1, 2014 at 5:26 PM

I love it when those donkeys bray. Run, but you cannot hide.

TinFin on May 1, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Good deal. Do we know if Senator everdiso is on board with the plan yet?

Bmore on May 1, 2014 at 5:29 PM

but risk splitting their party, which is divided between oil-state Democrats on one side and environmental-leaning Democrats on the other.

I challenge this premise.
Can an environmental-leaning dem not support a more environmentally friendly way of transporting oil? I believe they can.

Can a dem not be environmental-leaning if they come from an oil-state? I would think that they could both care about the environment and also come from an “oil-state”.

Now if they would have replaced “environmental-leaning” Democrat with “environmental-radical” Democrat it would make a lot more sense.

Interesting how the extremists are still painted as the rational ones and the ones being rational (crossing the aisle to work the Republicans) are painted as the desperate ones.

airupthere on May 1, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Uh oh, little barry is not going to like this. Do you think that the Dems in the Senate have figured out that obama does not give a s**t about them?

rjh on May 1, 2014 at 5:35 PM

rjh on May 1, 2014 at 5:35 PM

Probably won’t matter. Senator Reid, (the pedophile) will likely stick with the clean and articulate one.

Bmore on May 1, 2014 at 5:38 PM

I don’t see this as intended to accomplish anything but supply oil state Democrats with a fig leaf for the ’14 cycle.

ShadrachSmith on May 1, 2014 at 5:42 PM

If this passes the Senate, Boehner should fast-track this through the House as-is and put it on Obama’s desk.

If Obama vetoes it, HE will be seen as the stumbling block against energy independence and jobs in the oil / pipeline industry, along with the former Secretary of State, a certain presidential wannabe named Rodham. Republicans in 2016 can then campaign on “if you want the Keystone pipeline built, elect me and I’ll sign it my first day in office.”

Steve Z on May 1, 2014 at 5:46 PM

Yeah, the voters will never notice these clowns were against Keystone for all the years right up until running for re-election. Dweebs.

MTF on May 1, 2014 at 6:01 PM

This hasn’t been discussed much, but the Judge’s ruling in Nebraska was essentially that the State Legislature has no right to supervise or interfere with the rulings of the State Bureaucracy.

In other words, only those who are nameless and appointed, NOT those were elected, should be allowed to rule.

That’s pretty much the mode of government the Progressive movement is pushing for.

Tom Servo on May 1, 2014 at 6:17 PM

Do they have more than 62 votes this time around?

prolly get 65. Most every dem that needs to vote yes and is up for re-election will be for it.

DanMan on May 1, 2014 at 6:18 PM

This hasn’t been discussed much, but the Judge’s ruling in Nebraska was essentially that the State Legislature has no right to supervise or interfere with the rulings of the State Bureaucracy.

Tom Servo on May 1, 2014 at 6:17 PM

Sounds like the judge needs to be replaced.

whbates on May 1, 2014 at 6:29 PM

Cut off oil and gas to states with D senators who oppose XL. Simple.

Charlemagne on May 1, 2014 at 6:31 PM

Not sure if we should give Landrieu the victory to crow about. If Dirty Harry doesn’t bring it to a real vote to force Obama to do what’s right for the country, can’t we point to how ineffective she is?

COgirl on May 1, 2014 at 6:53 PM

“Senate Democrats pushing Reid to allow a vote on pro-Keystone XL legislation”

I call BS !!!!! NO d-cRAT will pass up the $MILLIONS their sugar-daddy Steyer has available for them if they continue to shaft America and stop KeystoneXL.

MicahStone on May 1, 2014 at 7:14 PM

…ain’t gonna happen!

KOOLAID2 on May 1, 2014 at 7:50 PM

Reid won’t make a move without King Barack’s okay.

GarandFan on May 1, 2014 at 7:52 PM

The only reason for the Keystone pipeline is needed at all is the weak kneed GOP LOSERship isn’t willing to stand up for common sense against green nonsense… There’s no need for the Keystone pipeline, there’s a need to be able to put refineries where they need to be for the most ecological and fiscally common sense result…

As for Harry, he’s holding out on Keystone approval until it goes thru Elko and is renamed HarryAndBarryStonedOut pipeline… Or something.

Some facts — There’s gasoline pipelines already in the North, or near enough so the connection to them would be minimal.

There wouldn’t be a need to ship solvents back north from Texas. Pumping Oil (that’s really closer to tar) in the pipeline requires adding solvents to get the ‘oil’ to a pumpable liquid state. The solvents have to be extracted at the refinery and shipped back, and mixed back in, at significant expense ($$$, energy, and hazmat issues)…

If this has to wait until the Prez zerO is gone, then perhaps a new WH resident could tell the EPA to take a fly foo with an executive order allowing a refinery in the north with the same specs as any in the South….

It’s not that I have anything against Texas refineries or the Keystone project… Seems Texas refineries have got plenty on their plate with Gulf oil. Without any nonsense EPA rules and politics to the contrary, the best place to put this sort of facility would seem to be near to the source… So fix the rules. Seems it can be done with OCare, why not Oil?

drfredc on May 1, 2014 at 9:47 PM

This way they think they will be protected at the ballot box.
They can blame Obummer.

Lee Jan on May 2, 2014 at 8:53 AM

drfredc on May 1, 2014 at 9:47 PM

Different type of crude oil and much of it would be shipped via pipeline 30 miles from Nederland to Lake Charles for two refineries presently using similar crude from Venezuela. Permian, Eagleford, Cline, Louisiana Light Sweet just doesn’t work so well for certain refineries and their products.

Kermit on May 2, 2014 at 11:19 AM

drfredc on May 1, 2014 at 9:47 PM

Also to Motiva’s 325,000 bpd expansion for heavy crude feedstock at its Port Arthur refinery. Yes the Saudi’s do want Canadian Crude to be shipped down Keystone XL.

Kermit on May 2, 2014 at 11:20 AM

Harry’s “War on Workers” is going to be challenged? Good! If not, go get Pelosi to call another press conference and declare her allegiance with the common folk. We badly need to start getting these Dems on record now – Reid, Obama and all of those in the way of real good-paying American jobs.

HoosierStateofMind on May 2, 2014 at 12:52 PM