Landrieu-backed pipeline bill fails in Senate
WASHINGTON - The Mary Landrieu-backed bill to fast-track approval on the Keystone XL pipeline failed to reach the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster threat and pass out of the Senate Tuesday night.
Sen. Landrieu had the support of 14 Senate Democrats, and all 45 Senate Republicans voted for the measure. Landrieu needed to convince one additional Democrat to break ranks and vote for the pipeline, but failed to do so.
The pipeline became an issue in the Dec. 6 runoff election between Landrieu and Republican Congressman Bill Cassidy, who sponsored an identical bill which passed the GOP-controlled House last week.
The White House indicated President Barack Obama would veto the bill if it passed. Republicans said they plan to bring it back up next year when their party controls both houses and pass it then.
Environmentalists have urged Obama to reject the pipeline as proof of his commitment to curb global warming, even though a State Department environmental review said it would not worsen the problem. The oil industry, labor unions and Republicans argue that it would create jobs and reduce oil imports from the Middle East.
The pipeline would cost $8 billion to build and carry up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day from oil sands in Canada to existing pipelines in Nebraska. The State Department estimated it would create 35 permanent jobs and 3,900 temporary jobs over its two-year construction period.
IMAGE: State TV