Senate rejects Keystone Pipeline bill majority of American public favored

Steven Viera, News Editor ||

Recently, the United States Senate rejected a bill to approve construction of the controversial Keystone Pipeline The proposed pipeline would directly link tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada to Nebraska, then link with existing lines running to Texas.

With all 45 of the Senate’s Republican members — along with 14 Democrats — voting in favor, and the 41 remaining Democratic members voting against, the bill failed to secure passage by a margin of only one vote.

The vote passed in the House of Representatives by the sizable gap of 252-161. The bill’s sponsor, Bill Cassidy (R-LA), is currently facing a run-off election for Louisiana’s senate seat against the incumbent, Mary Landrieu, who also supports construction of the proposed
pipeline.

Republicans support the bill, arguing that, economically, the pipeline will create jobs, Democrats and environmentalists argue that the pipeline will add to the number of carbon emissions which contribute to global warming.

However, a new Congress will take office in January, mainly composed of Republicans elected in 2014’s Midterm Elections, held earlier this month. They have already announced their intention to re-vote on the bill and approve it, according to the article “US Senate narrowly fails to pass Keystone XL pipeline bill,” from the BBC.com.

And while President Barack Obama has taken a stance against that proposed legislation, he has not directly threatened a veto of it.

If constructed, the pipeline would pump 830,000 barrels of oil, mainly crude oil produced at the tar sand in Alberta, Canada, to refineries in Nebraska, where it then travels to Texas on lines already in existence. The pipeline is identically named to a current pipeline, also called Keystone. However, according the article, the proposed pipeline takes a 1,179 mile route that is much more direct. Additionally, the proposed pipeline has a wider pipe diamater than the
existing pipe.

According to the artcle, a state department report released in February indicated that there were no pressing environmental concerns. The state department is invovlved in the matter as the pipeline crosses an international bordrer between the United States and Canada.

The proposed pipeline is a privately-financed venture sponsored by, among others, TransCanada, an energy company based in
Calgary, Canada.

According to a recent survey, co-sponsored by The Huffington Post, approximately 56 percent of Americans support construction of the pipeline.

These data is similar to other recent polls, which place opinion at about 60 percent (USA Today, Pew Research) in favor.

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