The Sierra Club was, as would be expected, was pleased with these developments. “We applaud the Senators who stood up for the health of our families and our climate by fighting back against this big polluter-funded sideshow,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, in a release. ‘There’s no good reason the Senate should have wasted all this time on yet another meaningless push for Keystone XL. Since day one, the decision on the pipeline has belonged to President Obama, and he has repeatedly said he will reject this pipeline if it contributes to the climate crisis. As there is no doubt that it does, we remain confident that is precisely what he’ll do.”
A variety of groups were less pleased with this vote. American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Jack Gerard said the Senate’s failure to pass legislation to build the Keystone XL pipeline shows a few stood in the way of the largest bi-partisan jobs and energy security bill ignoring the will of the American people on Election Day.
‘A handful of Senators blocked a long overdue decision on KXL defying the will of the American people,” said Gerard. ‘Instead of seizing a rare bipartisan opportunity to help American workers and strengthen our energy security, a few Senators returned to politics as usual. This is not what the electorate voted for two weeks ago and it doesn’t bode well for future bipartisanship.
‘Keystone XL is not going away, the president will have to deal with it, if not now then next year. We will work with the new Congress to focus on getting this important jobs project approved. We will not give up until the pipeline is built.”
The New England Fuel Institute, which also supports passage and called upon its members to reach out to their legislators, were also displeased with the results as indicated by the following released statement:
President Obama may be breathing a sigh of relief that he will not be forced to veto this legislation but his relief will be short-lived. During a press conference with Republican leaders immediately after the vote, bill sponsor John Hoeven (R-ND) promised it would be a top priority when his party takes control of the Senate next year. Support from newly-elected Republicans and moderate Democrats in the new Congress will provide more than enough votes to pass the bill and perhaps even the 67 votes necessary to override a Presidential veto. Senator Hoeven said it could be taken up as stand-alone legislation once again, included in a broader energy package or tucked into a must-pass appropriations bill.
We would like to thank the many NEFI members and supporters that made phone calls in support of this legislation. NEFI will continue to monitor developments closely and provide additional updates going forward.
However, oil industry groups were not the only ones disappointed. Unions, typically more in the Democrat camp as allies go, are showing their frustration at the current administration and lame-duck leadership in the Senate. Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA– the Laborers’ International Union of North America ‘ made the following statement on the U.S. Senate vote regarding the Keystone XL Pipeline:
Today’s failure of the U.S. Senate to authorize the Keystone XL Pipeline is a vote against all construction workers, a vote to keep good, middle-class jobs locked out of reach and a vote to continue to rely on nations that hate America for our energy.
As the White House politicized the construction of the pipeline, 41 Senate Democrats cowardly stepped in line, throwing one of their own colleagues, Sen. Mary Landrieu, along with hard working blue-collar construction workers under the bus.
That Democrats would block the pipeline’s approval in spite of the fact that repeated environmental impact statements have all concluded that the Keystone XL will have no appreciable impact on greenhouse gas emissions, leaves us disillusioned, disgusted and exasperated with the current majority party and it leaves no doubt as to why they will soon be the minority party. Continued pandering to environmental extremists, who want to hamper the American economy and destroy jobs is a recipe for continued election losses.
The majority of Democrats in the Senate and the White House just don’t get it, even though the recent election results surely should have sunk in by now. They have lost their way, their purpose and their base.