And I am very happy to hear this:The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will vote on legislation Wednesday that would approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
The committee is expected to easily approve the bill, which is co-sponsored by Chairwoman Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.).
Landrieu, who is facing a tough reelection battle this year, originally offered the bill last month to be voted on in conjunction with energy efficiency legislation taken up by the Senate. But the effort collapsed amid a larger fight over floor procedure.
On Wednesday, the committee will tackle the legislation, a Landrieu aide confirmed. All Republicans on the committee, Landrieu, and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) are expected to vote for the bill. - The Hill, 6/12/14
I applaud Udall for standing strong on this because this has been an issue that's been causing Udall headaches:Colorado Sen. Mark Udall is sticking to his script when it comes to the Keystone XL pipeline, a script that gives lip service to both sides but doesn’t take a position for or against construction of the pipeline.
Udall, a Democrat facing a very difficult reelection battle this fall, is under intense pressure to take a clearer position on Keystone.
And he’s about to have a chance to do so when the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee votes on legislation to approve the pipeline next week.
But Udall won’t be voting yes, or changing his previously stated position much at all.
“If the Keystone XL pipeline were being routed through our state, Coloradans would want to know the decision was being made on the merits — and not congressional meddling,” said Udall’s spokesman, Mike Saccone.
“That’s why Sen. Udall intends to again reject the notion that lawmakers know better than the engineers, scientists and experts whose responsibility it is to evaluate the pipeline application on its merits.” - KDVR, 6/12/14
And Udall's opponent, Tea Party Congressman Cory Gardner (R. CO), has been hitting Udall on this issue:The Colorado Democrat is trying to hold onto his Senate seat in a state with extensive oil and gas development and a strong environmental streak. Udall has tried to play to both sides. He supports oil and gas production but has also won applause from green groups. On Thursday, LCV Action Fund officially endorsed the senator in his race against Republican Rep. Cory Gardner.
Observers on both sides have been clamoring to put Udall on record on the pipeline. He voted against a nonbinding pro-Keystone resolution when it came to the Senate floor last year. He managed to sidestep a vote, however, last month when it seemed likely that a bill to fast-track the project would come to the Senate floor.
He's unlikely to catch a break this time around. But rather than siding with one group over the other, Udall is making his vote a judgment call on the approval process rather than the pipeline itself. "Senator Udall intends to again reject the notion that lawmakers know better than the engineers, scientists, and experts whose responsibility it is to evaluate the pipeline application on its merits," a spokesman for the senator said Thursday. - National Journal, 6/12/14
While Gardner may want to make this race all about energy, Udall has been focusing on making this race about immigration reform:Udall is locked in a tough re-election battle with Republican Congressman Cory Gardner, energy is expected to be a dominant issue in the campaign. Gardner supports Keystone, which would route oil from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries.
“Coloradans will watch with disappointment as Sen. Udall casts his fourth vote against the Keystone XL pipeline, and the jobs and economic growth it would create,” Gardner’s campaign spokesman, Alex Siciliano, said. “Sen. Udall should follow the lead of others in his party and insist that both leaders, Republican and Democrat, bring this measure to the floor.”
Siciliano also said that Gardner, a former state lawmaker, was a key player in a 2007 law that established Colorado’s Clean Energy Development Authority, has long supported renewable energy including wind and solar, and is one of a minority of Republicans that has repeatedly voted against efforts to defund renewable energy research. - Denver Post, 6/12/14
This is one of the bigger races this year and we can't take anything for granted. We need to keep Udall in the U.S. Senate. Click here to donate and get involved with his campaign:Democrats have attacked Gardner for months for not supporting citizenship for most of the 11 million people in the country illegally, in contrast with Udall, who voted for a Senate bill last year to legalize them. Republicans have kept that legislation, touted as a comprehensive effort to fix the nation’s immigration system, from coming to a vote in the House of Representatives. The GOP is split between business leaders who support the Senate bill and grassroots activists like the ones who ousted Cantor and oppose any immigration deal.
Gardner last week said that he did support citizenship for people here illegally who served in the military. But he would not give any more specifics about who else should be granted citizenship.
On Wednesday, Udall’s campaign issued a statement trying to pin Gardner down.
“What about their families? What would happen to the parents, children, brothers and sisters of immigrant servicemen and women bravely fighting for their country?” State Rep. Joe Salazar (D-Thornton) asked in the statement.
Gardner hit back by noting that Udall in 2005 had voted for a bill that would have made being in the U.S. illegally a felony.
“Instead of dealing with this problem in a reasonable and humane manner, Senator Udall was one of just 36 Democrats to vote to make every person living in this country without documentation a felon,” Gardner spokesman Alex Siciliano said. “Had things gone the way Senator Udall had wanted, these individuals would be facing prison time.”
At the time, Udall said he disliked the criminal provisions of the legislation but backed its border security provisions. His campaign provided documentation that showed Udall speaking favorably of citizenship for people here illegally as early as 2007. - CBS Denver, 6/11/14