A controversial bill to approve construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline failed in the US Senate Tuesday evening.
With 59 “aye” votes, just shy of the 60 needed, the Keystone XL was prevented from moving forward to President Obama’s desk.The Keystone pipeline would be used to carry crude oil from Canada down to refineries on the Gulf Coast, a plan that had many citizens protesting. The pipeline brought up a number of concerns over the impact it would have on the climate.
Supporters say it would create jobs and ease American dependence on foreign oil government officials predict that a pipeline wouldn’t result in large amounts of damage to the environment at all. Critics argue that just the initial drilling itself is environmentally harmful, and that beyond that, much of the Canadian crude would be exported with little or no impact on America’s drive for energy stability.
In response to the news of the bill being voted on in Congress, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) released the following statement from Lou Leonard, vice president, climate change:
“As international leaders work toward a new global climate pact in 2015, decisions in the United States are being watched closely. Last week’s presidential actions already are catalyzing new steps by other countries. Momentum is building. The US can’t send mixed signals at this critical time.
“On the eve of the UN climate talks in Lima, Congress’ attempt to circumvent the Administration’s decision-making process and preemptively approve the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline threatens to undercut our credibility and slow momentum. As the world’s largest economy and second largest emitter of greenhouse gases, the US must build upon last week’s announcements and continue to exert strong leadership in charting a course for a zero-carbon energy future.
“The implications of building the Keystone XL pipeline go beyond climate change. It would accelerate fragmentation of a globally important ecosystem, bisecting America’s last great swath of grassland, home to a diversity of wildlife unique to this region. The project not only would degrade and fragment wildlife habitat, it would also open the door to accelerating oil and gas development, with associated greenhouse emissions, and potentially devastating pipeline spills, which are all too common.”
Statement from the White House
Press secretary Josh Earnest said the Keystone pipeline is something “the president doesn’t support because the president believes that this is something that should be determined through the State Department and the regular process that is in place to evaluate projects like this.”
The Future of Keystone
Republicans have said they plan to prioritize approving the pipeline once they take control of the Senate next year.
According to Salon, Soon-to-be Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) gave a statement on the floor. “Republicans are committed to getting Keystone approved,” he said. “So I urge a yes vote on the legislation to send Congressman Cassidy’s Keystone bill to the president and create more American jobs. And if not, then a new majority is committed to acting next year.”
Despite evidence that shows most of the American voters predilection to candidates that want to reduce global warming, the Republic cast set to take over Senate has some differing concerns. There are still many Americans who feel that global warming hasn’t truly affected the country despite information from scientists on the contrary. The pipeline in contradicting President Obama’s recent call to act against climate change and poses the question of how many of the current declarations of the government will soon change with the upcoming shift in the Senate.
What Do You Think?
Do you support the Keystone XL pipeline or do you think it would be an investment the country would later regret?
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