Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker voted with all other Republican in the Senate to pass the bill authorizing the Keystone pipeline today. The pipeline which would carry Canadian tar sands oil to the refineries of the gulf was proposed more than six years ago, but the Obama administration has been dragging its feet in granting approval.
Environmentalist have opposed the pipeline because they want the oil to stay in the ground due to concern about global warming. Proponents of the pipeline argue that if the pipeline it not constructed, the oil will still be refined but the transport to refineries will be by a much more environmentally hazardous route. If not transported to the refineries of the gulf coast by pipeline ,the oil will be transported by rail and truck, or a pipeline will be constructed across Canada to the coast and transported by ocean tanker as raw crude to China for refining. Proponents also argue that building the pipeline will make the U.S. less dependent on Mid-east oil and will create jobs.
Republicans had previously, in the last Congress, tried to pass this bill and were unsuccessful. The vote to pass it was 62 to 36 with nine Democrats joining 53 Republicans to pass it. The Senate version of the bill will now have to be reconciled with the House version of the bill. President Obama has threatened to veto the bill.
Below is a press release issued by Senator Bob Corker on the topic.
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement after voting for S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, which passed the Senate by a vote of 62 to 36. First proposed more than six years ago, the pipeline would have the capacity to transport more than 800,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast of the U.S. Several Obama administration reports have found that construction of the pipeline will have no significant environmental impact along the proposed route.
“There is no logical reason not to build the Keystone XL pipeline,” said Corker. “I’m pleased the Senate passed this legislation that will create jobs, generate economic growth and advance our nation’s energy security. I hope the president will reconsider his decision to veto this bipartisan bill and demonstrate to the American people that Washington can work together to move our country forward.”
Corker, a cosponsor of the bill, also commended Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for his efforts to restore regular order in the Senate by allowing debate and votes on amendments from both Republicans and Democrats on the first bill considered in the new Congress.
“Under Senator McConnell’s leadership, the new Republican Senate has shown that it will allow all voices to be heard so members can represent the people of their states and take the votes we were sent here to take.”
The Senate held more than 40 roll call votes on amendments during consideration of S.1, offered by both Republicans and Democrats. Only 15 roll call votes on amendments were recorded in all of 2014.