Reid shifts position on Keystone pipeline vote

Keystone Pipeline In an abrupt election-year shift in strategy, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid opened the possibility of allowing a vote on congressional approval of the long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline bill, a project that he has long opposed. He suggested tying the pipeline decision to the Shaheen-Portman Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S. 1392), legislation introduced by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH).

“I’m open to anything that will move energy efficiency,” Reid told reporters.

The Senate is expected to consider the Shaheen-Portman bill as early as the week of May 5, 2014. The XL pipeline project has been under consideration for more than five years.

The bipartisan Shaheen-Portman legislation is designed to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy costs in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors, while boosting competitiveness for American businesses.

The bill attributes chemistry as the responsible source for many of the energy efficiency technologies that enable the energy Americans use to go further than ever before. The use of chemistry in energy efficient products and technologies saves Americans up to $85 billion in energy costs every year.

The details were not made clear, but in exchange for Republican support of the efficiency bill, Reid could permit a vote on a measure that would allow Congress to approve the pipeline bill. The vote would possibly allow Democratic senators up for election in November to be perceived as supporting the project, although the compromise and deception are obvious. Nonetheless, even if the bill passes the Senate and something similar passes the House, President Obama will likely veto it.

Earlier this month, the State Department said it would delay a decision on the pipeline again until the Nebraska Supreme Court settles a dispute over the pipeline path. That would effectively delay the decision until after the November 4 elections which would be advantageous to both parties.

In the past, the White House has threatened to veto any attempts by Congress to force the approval of the Keystone project.

4 thoughts on “Reid shifts position on Keystone pipeline vote

    • Tom Reply

      At last some movement in the Senate on a piece of bipartisan legislation. The Keystone Pipeline project has become so political that both science and reason have taken a distant second seat. Energy efficiency and North American energy independence are two issues that should be pushed forward.

  1. Nick Reply

    The US
    has a very large pipeline complex that transgresses just about every corner of
    the country state by state. We rarely
    see anything in the headlines about tragedy’s that are a result of problems
    associated with pipelines. It is beyond my comprehension that anyone would
    object to them considering the safety record and benefits they bring to our communities.

    Based on
    data generated from annual reports to PHMSA from pipeline operators (1), the
    network includes approximately:

    175,000
    miles of onshore and offshore Hazardous Liquid pipeline;

    321,000
    miles of onshore and offshore Gas Transmission and Gathering pipelines;

    2,066,000
    miles of Natural Gas Distribution mains and service pipelines;

    114
    active LNG Plants connected to our natural gas transmission and distribution
    systems; and

    Propane
    Distribution System pipelines.

    Although
    pipelines exist in all fifty states, most of us are unaware that this vast
    network even exists. This is due to the strong safety record of pipelines and
    the fact that most of them are located underground. Installing pipelines
    underground protects them from damage and helps protect our communities as
    well.

  2. Tom Reply

    Well said, Environmental groups want no fossil fuel or chemical
    usage. They are using transportation via rail or pipeline as a secondary target for their
    real goals. New regs for banning transportation through urban centers
    have also been talked about.

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