Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

56 Senators Try to Force Keystone XL Pipeline Past President Obama and the Public

Energy

A group of U.S. senators says it has enough votes to not only approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, but push it past President Barack Obama.

The group consists of all 45 Republican senators and 11 Democrats. They introduced legislation for the pipeline on Thursday.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., appeared on Fox News to announce that he believed pipeline proponents had enough Senate votes to give TransCanada the green light and that a vote would happen soon. Despite charges of unfair land contracts and research indicating that the pipeline would significant exacerbate our climate, Manchin says the issue is ensuring the country's energy security.

A Senate vote on Keystone XL is expected this week. Photo credit: League of Women Voters of California/Flickr Creative Commons

The senator argued that the pipeline was a more environmentally friendly means of transporting oil to refineries. There's no doubt that a measure would pass in the Republican House of Representatives. Last year, a non-binding resolution to support the pipeline passed by a 62-37 count in the Senate.

Environmental groups weren't pleased with the news, but are confident that the Administration will say no to dirty tar sands oil when all is said and done.

"We see this as a purely political move," Jane Kleeb, director of Bold Nebraska, said in a call with reporters, according to the Huffington Post. "We think the president will be true to his word that he wants to see the process play out." 

Kleeb also appeared via phone on MSNBC's The Ed Show. The issue is discussed, beginning at the 1:53-mark of the below video, with Kleeb's interview following.

 

This week would likely be the last time senators debate the pipeline before November elections. The Administration could veto such a bill, but it would take 67 votes to override one. Does Manchin believe supporters can find a few more votes?

"I would hope so," he said.

White House press secretary Jay Carney denounced the potential for Congressional force to push the pipeline through the approval process. 

"Our position hasn’t changed, which is that this has to be run by the book," Carney said. "What we’ve seen in the past when Congress has passed legislation, it has actually slowed the process down. So we believe that this has to be run by the book, outside of politics, and that’s the way it’s being run."

With just four votes needed to reach a "filibuster-proof" majority of 60 votes, The Hill listed Delaware Sen. Chris Coons as one of the Democrats the pipeline supporters would try to convert. His spokesman said that's not going to happen.

"Sen. Coons believes the law makes clear that it's up to the administration to make permitting decisions like this one,"Coons spokesman Ian Koski told the site. "He's frustrated with how long it's taking for a decision to be made, but doesn't think it's Congress' role to be issuing construction permits."

In response, 350.org is encouraging people to call their senators' offices to encourage them not to vote for the pipeline.

"This pipeline would be a climate disaster, and if the senator is serious about fighting climate change, then they should vote ‘no' on any bill that approves Keystone XL," the organization's script reads.

——–

YOU ALSO MIGHT LIKE

Carbon Tracker Reports Keystone XL Will ‘Significantly Exacerbate’ Climate

Cowboys and Indians Launch 5-Day Keystone XL Protest on National Mall

Anti-Keystone XL Groups Discuss Delayed Decision on MSNBC

——– 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Humpback whale splashing in the North West Atlantic Ocean, Massachusetts. Tim Graham / Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

In a move that environmentalists warned could further imperil hundreds of endangered species and a protected habitat for the sake of profit, President Donald Trump on Friday signed a proclamation rolling back an Obama-era order and opening nearly 5,000 square miles off the coast of New England to commercial fishing.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

By Lauren Panoff, MPH, RD

Fresh fruits and vegetables are a healthy way to incorporate vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants into your diet.

Read More Show Less
These 19 organizations and individuals represent a small portion of the efforts underway to fight racism and inequality and to build stronger Black communities and food systems. rez-art / Getty Images

By Danielle Nierenberg

Following the murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, people around the United States are protesting racism, police brutality, inequality, and violence in their own communities. No matter your political affiliation, the violence by multiple police departments in this country is unacceptable.

Read More Show Less
Residents plant mangroves on the coast of West Aceh District in Indonesia on Feb. 21, 2020. Mangroves play a crucial role in stabilizing the coastline, providing protection from storms, waves and tidal erosion. Dekyon Eon / Opn Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mangroves play a vital role in capturing carbon from the atmosphere. Mangrove forests are tremendous assets in the fight to stem the climate crisis. They store more carbon than a rainforest of the same size.

Read More Show Less
UN World Oceans Day is usually an invite-only affair at the UN headquarters in New York, but this year anyone can join in by following the live stream on the UNWOD website from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. https://unworldoceansday.org/

Monday is World Oceans Day, but how can you celebrate our blue planet while social distancing?

Read More Show Less
Cryptococcus yeasts (pictured), including ones that are hybrids, can cause life-threatening infections in primarily immunocompromised people. KATERYNA KON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY / Getty Images

By Jacob L. Steenwyk and Antonis Rokas

From the mythical minotaur to the mule, creatures created from merging two or more distinct organisms – hybrids – have played defining roles in human history and culture. However, not all hybrids are as fantastic as the minotaur or as dependable as the mule; in fact, some of them cause human diseases.

Read More Show Less

Trending

National Trails Day 2020 is now titled In Solidarity, AHS Suspends Promotion of National Trails Day 2020. The American Hiking Society is seeking to amplify Black voices in the outdoor community and advocate for equal access to the outdoors. Klaus Vedfelt / DigitalVision / Getty Images

This Saturday, June 6, marks National Trails Day, an annual celebration of the remarkable recreational, scenic and hiking trails that crisscross parks nationwide. The event, which started in 1993, honors the National Trail System and calls for volunteers to help with trail maintenance in parks across the country.

Read More Show Less