Senate Passes Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

In a 62 to 36 vote, the U.S. Senate passed a bill approving construction of the trans-broder Keystone XL pipeline to carry tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada for refining in the Gulf of Mexico.

A boreal forest before tar sands development, and afterNine Democratic Senators joined Republicans voting for the bill, including Michael Bennet (Colo.), Tom Carper (Del.), Bob Casey Jr. (Pa.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Jon Tester (Mont.) and Mark Warner (Va.).

The Senate failed to reach a supermajority that would block a promised veto from president Obama.

With plummeting oil prices, now at $48.24/Bbl as of this writing, developing tar sands oil for shipment to the Gulf puts into question the economics of the Keystone pipeline project in any case. Even if oil were to surge back to the $85 to $110/Bbl level required to cover development costs, other reasons proponents offer in support of Keystone are considered doubtful by many analysts.

The following video shows which Senators voted for or against the bill.

Image credit: Toban B, courtesy flickr



Thomas Schueneman
Thomas Schueneman
Tom is the founder and managing editor of and the PlanetWatch Group. His work appears in Triple Pundit, Slate, Cleantechnia, Planetsave, Earth911, and several other sustainability-focused publications. Tom is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

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