For a symbolic issue, the Keystone pipeline has sure caused a lot of damage—to Canadian-American relations, to Democrats, to President Obama. And it feeds, underscores, or reflects a variety of political divisions, some of them quite bitter.
The United State Senate voted down the Save Mary Landrieu Act of 2014 by one vote last night. Senator Landrieu had hoped to persuade her constituents in Louisiana that she could bring home the pork owing to her seniority and her savvy in the ways of Washington. She would get a pipeline bill passed into law; one that had been languishing in Washington for some six years during which nobody seemed terribly aware of her clout. The pipeline vote, though, would surely show them.
Detroit Countering the free-market political activism of the Koch brothers, green billionaire Thomas Steyer has pledged to spend $100 million in 2014 to elect an anti-carbon posse to Congress. Steyer’s litmus test is opposition to the import of Canadian crude oil through the Keystone pipeline—an issue on which the former San Francisco hedge-fund manager won a victory this spring when the Obama administration further delayed the pipeline’s construction after six years of study.
The Massachusetts state Republican party has a new ad highlighting Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren's opposition to the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. "Keystone Pipeline Means Thousands More Jobs and Cheaper Gas," the text of the ad reads. "Yet, Warren Opposes It."
The Senate narrowly rejected a Republican-sponsored measure Thursday that would have bypassed the Obama administration's current objections to the Keystone XL pipeline and allowed construction on the controversial project to move forward immediately.