On Tuesday, November 18th, the Senate failed to approve the legislation supporting the Keystone XL pipeline by a vote of 59 to 41. There were 14 democrats that voted with the Republicans, but the legislation failed by one vote. However, this is not the death of the Keystone XL pipeline, but only a speed bump.
Shortly after the vote on the floor of the Senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Keystone legislation will be one of the first actions taken up once the 114th Congress is sworn into office. This is great news for the American people and for advocates for construction of the pipeline.
Polling shows that Americans want the Keystone XL pipeline built. Once built, not only will oil be transported from Canada through the pipeline, but American oil will also be transported from North Dakota and Montana.
The Keystone XL pipeline is good for America for a number of reasons, including creating jobs and tax revenue in a number of states. This economic stimulus will be a boost to the economy, which will contribute to creating the pro-growth environment that is necessary for economic freedom.
Additionally, the Keystone XL pipeline will also bring us one step closer to weening America from her reliance on foreign oil. This is crucial if we are to ever achieve energy independence. Energy independence will lead to greater national security which means America is a safer nation.
For these reasons, Senator Mary Landrieu did the right thing forcing this vote that Americans have wanted for years. It was encouraging to see a Senator fight for a cause, but unfortunately, it was for the wrong reasons and came much too late.
Besides Senator Landrieu fighting for the Keystone XL pipeline, the only Senators that have fought so hard in recent years on the Senate floor are Ted Cruz and Mike Lee to stop Obamacare and Rand Paul on drones. The difference is the junior Senators were fighting for the American people. Mary Landrieu was fighting for her job. This highlights all that is wrong in DC when the elites are only willing to fight the tough battles when their power is threatened.
It is unfortunate that President Obama and the Senate Democrats have held up this project for 6 years, but in January with the 114th Congress, the Keystone XL pipeline legislation will pass the Senate and the House. Upon passage of the legislation, the President will have to decide if he represents all Americans or just the special interests that helped elect him. The American people want him to do the right thing and approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
While disappointing that the legislation failed to pass the Senate, it was great to see the Senate working and actually debating legislation on the floor. This is the way the Senate should work. Let’s just hope that in January the President stops playing politics and signs the Keystone XL pipeline legislation into law.