Skip to main content

Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota
(National Governors Association)
The Senate shot down another attempt to make an end run around the Obama administration's rejection of the Keystone XL tar-sands pipeline in a vote Thursday afternoon. The amendment failed on a 56-42 vote, failing to obtain the 60 votes needed for passage under special consideration rules.

All Republican senators but the two who were not present supported the amendment. The nay votes were all Democratic. But 11 Democrats voted in favor: Max Baucus and Jon Tester of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Jim Webb of Virginia.

The amendment, S. 1537, would have allowed Congress to circumvent the presidential permitting process set up by executive order under President George W. Bush to make sure that international pipelines are only built when the U.S. national interest is at stake and safety, health and environmental rules are met.

It would have exempted the pipeline from further federal environmental review even though builder TransCanada has said it will still be a few weeks before it resubmits its permit application with a new route through Nebraska. The original route was the focus of broad-based opposition because it would have run through the marshy Nebraska Sandhills, an ecologically fragile region where the massive Ogallala Aquifer rises near the surface. That aquifer feeds the agricultural needs of eight states. Its possible contamination from a pipeline spill is a key concern of pipeline foes.

As Tony Swift has noted, the amendment would have:

put enormous amounts of pressure on Nebraska as it conducts its review. Last November, as Nebraska’s Senate considered enacting a pipeline routing law in a special session, TransCanada’s attorneys threatened the state with expensive lawsuits if it did anything to interfere with the company’s plans or timeline. President Obama’s decision to delay the process relieved much of the pressure that Nebraska was under.
By means of an amendment to the payroll tax bill in December, Hoeven previously tried to go around the administration over Keystone by putting a 60-day deadline on the president's timing for a decision on the pipeline. Obama said that arbitrary deadline did not give him enough time to review the State Department's recommendation that the cross-border pipeline should be rejected. Consequently, he turned it down to shrieks from Republicans and somewhat milder critiques from Democrats, such as Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who support the pipeline.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 02:05 PM PST.

Also republished by Good News and Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

GainesT1958, Angie in WA State, hazey, Bill in Portland Maine, Odysseus, hester, mimi, wytcld, greenbird, bread, eeff, willyr, Creosote, missLotus, lippythelion69, poe, oceanview, navajo, Cedwyn, artebella, danthrax, TexDem, lcrp, zerelda, ybruti, KayCeSF, lyvwyr101, ExStr8, maybeeso in michigan, Bluesee, radarlady, JanetT in MD, ek hornbeck, basquebob, dewtx, Brooke In Seattle, Laurence Lewis, kaliope, xanthippe2, kathny, begone, dannyinla, Nance, hlee1169, gwilson, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, sherlyle, tonyahky, Magnifico, Lefty Coaster, JVolvo, profh, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, shaharazade, ammasdarling, Tamar, ColoTim, FishOutofWater, Mary Mike, la urracca, operculum, dclawyer06, aliasalias, Kentucky Kid, jedennis, millwood, gchaucer2, uciguy30, cacamp, TomP, JeffW, HappyinNM, wayoutinthestix, Senor Unoball, Involuntary Exile, Fiona West, skohayes, jamess, TokenLiberal, Gemina13, glendaw271, petulans, Bule Betawi, The Dead Man, dRefractor, MKSinSA, rebel ga, citisven, catilinus, Larsstephens, Railfan, politik, eb23, Betty Pinson, Maverick80229, ericlewis0, cocinero, Onomastic, kerflooey, FarWestGirl, trumpeter, PorridgeGun, thomask, Wheever, BarackStarObama, jolux, ratcityreprobate, zenox, CoyoteMarti, BoulderStevo, ParkRanger, boredwitnuts, Sister Inspired Revolver of Freedom, jacey, ridemybike, anodnhajo, Catskill Julie, Siri, IndieGuy, passionateprotagonist, done lurking, Horace Boothroyd III, Lorinda Pike, MartyM, Margd, Vote4Obamain2012, history first, Marjmar, peptabysmal, Portlaw, ericbau114, Prospect Park, GenXBadger, ladyjames, broths, Yastreblyansky

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site