CHICOEE, Mass. (WWLP/AP) – The Democrat-controlled Senate has defeated a bill to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline. The Senate’s 59-41 vote Tuesday night was a nail-biter to the end. The bill needed 60 votes to reach the White House. The House passed it overwhelmingly last week.
President Barack Obama did not support the bill, but the White House has been mum on whether or not he will veto it. Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu pushed for the vote in an effort to save her seat in a Dec. 6 runoff election in Louisiana. She faces an uphill battle against Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy, who authored the House bill.
The pipeline is considered controversial because it would bring crude oil from Canada’s tar sands, through the middle of our country, and to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. Environmentalists fear the crude oil drilling would emit more greenhouse gases than traditional oil drilling.
However, American International College Economics Professor John Rogers said from an economic stance, this could change North America’s role in global oil market. “It’s really trying to bring the Canadian and the US oil fields together and potentially create not only energy independence for the US and Canada but also turn us into an export vehicle.”
All Republicans said publicly they supported the Senate bill, as did several moderate Democrats.