As Clock Ticks, Sweeping Bipartisan Vote in the Senate Spotlights Path Forward Toward Congressional Approval of Keystone XL

March 26, 2013

On Friday, the United States Senate went on record in support of the Keystone XL pipeline, voting 62-37 in favor of Sen. John Hoeven’s (R-ND) budget amendment urging approval of the pipeline. In a strong show of bipartisan support for the landmark jobs project, 17 Democrats joined every Senate Republican voting in favor of the amendment, sending a strong message to the president that the American people want this pipeline. While the amendment is non-binding, this victory in the Senate is indicative of growing support for the Keystone XL pipeline and signals future filibuster-proof support for legislation to build the pipeline using congressional authority.

Despite Keystone XL’s popularity among both Democrats and Republicans, the president continues to block approval of the pipeline’s construction. It has now been 1,649 days since Keystone’s application was first filed with the State Department, and the president is running out of excuses not to approve the pipeline’s permit. To bypass the needless delays and bureaucratic hurdles to construction, leaders in the House and Senate have introduced legislation that would allow the project to move forward. Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) has introduced H.R. 3 in the House to remove the project’s fate from the president’s hands and clear away potential roadblocks. Sen. Hoeven authored legislation in the Senate to approve the pipeline using congressional authority. A similar legislative solution was necessary in the late 1970's to achieve construction of the Alaskan Pipeline.

“It's been over 1600 days since the first permits were filed to build the Keystone Pipeline. Friday’s filibuster-proof vote confirms there is overwhelming bipartisan support for the Keystone project in both the House and the Senate and if the president doesn’t want to approve this jobs and energy project, Congress will. It’s time to build the pipeline,” said Terry