Keystone Kapers: Part Deux [UPDATE]

keystone kapers

Congress makes one final push to pass the Keystone XL pipeline this year.



UPDATE 11/19/14

You’ve probably heard but in case you haven’t, yesterday Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu was one short of getting the 60 votes for the Keystone XL initiative to pass. The incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky promised yesterday that the new Republican majority would resurrect new Keystone XL pipeline legislation, which would set up an early 2015 veto from President Obama.   



Usually lame duck sessions in Congress tends to be pretty boring. The most legislative thing that gets done during that time is when the President pardons a turkey as we near Thanksgiving. This time however, things are looking to be happening when it comes to the old environmental favorite, the Keystone XL pipeline.


Activity for approving the Keystone XL pipeline started to take effect last week as Louisiana Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu started to push a pro-pipeline bill through the Senate. After much talk from multiple parties, the Senate has agreed to vote on the bill come Tuesday. Even if the vote were to pass the Senate – as of this writing Sen. Landrieu is having a hard time conjuring up the 60 votes for the measure to pass – there would be considerable hurdles for the Keystone initiative to become a reality.


For one, it’s said that the White House is vehemently against the measure, stopping just short of vetoing the proposed bill. Even with many in the Obama Administration asking him to veto any pro-Keystone legislation that comes across his desk, President Obama maintains to not rule on anything until the State Department has finished its analysis on the pipeline.


For those not in the know, the Keystone XL pipeline is a proposed (and controversial) pipeline system that would transfer oil from Canada to refineries in the Gulf Coast.

As you can see, Nebraska is a pretty vital part in the pipeline’s expansion. This also marks the first time the words “vital” and “Nebraska” were used not ironically in a sentence.


The other hurdle comes in the form of Nebraska’s Public Service Commission. The Nebraska Supreme Court is said to rule, in the next few weeks, whether the state’s Public Service Commission has to ok the development of the pipeline before it can cross their state lines. This ruling comes into question because originally Nebraska’s Governor Dave Heineman gave the ok for the pipeline’s expansion, to cross into Nebraska, without the ok from the state’s Public Service Commission. Considering the pipeline directly crosses into a sizable part of Nebraska, without their cooperation, the pipeline will never be a reality.


Even if the Keystone XL pipeline were to be struck down in the Senate, with both the House and Senate under Republican control, it probably won’t be the last time you hear it come up in the near future.



[Photo Credits: Google Images, New York Times]


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