Jerk in a Hawaiian Shirt & SNOWCAT Moderator
GOLD Site Supporter
Looks like a smattering of pro-oil Democrats and the new GOP majority are enough to override a potential OBAMA veto. Now if the GOP gets its shit together, introducing, and passing authorization of the Keystone XL pipeline should be a fast process and could really help get this floundering economy back on its feet while building public confidence. They need 67 votes to be VETO PROOF, and currently NOT ENOUGH Democrats are signed on, but I suspect that may change as political reality sets in.
Republican gains in the Senate have given Keystone XL supporters a filibuster-proof majority to pass a bill approving construction of the controversial pipeline.
Before Tuesday’s election, supporters had 57 votes in the Senate in support of Keystone, including a dozen Democrats. After Republicans picked up seven Senate seats (and counting) in Tuesday's election, the vote count for Keystone had ballooned to 61.
GOP Sen.-elects Mike Rounds (S.D.), Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.) Cory Garnder (Colo.) and Joni Ernst (Iowa) are all Keystone backers.
"The election of several pro-Keystone Senators puts the passage of Keystone that much closer and shows energy projects like Keystone is a priority for our country," Ryan Bernstein, Sen. John Hoeven's (R-N.D.) chief of staff, told The Hill on Wednesday.
"We will be working with Senator [Mitch] McConnell (R-Ky.) to get a vote on the floor shortly after the new Congress is seated," Bernstein added.
A Republican Senate could pass a clean Keystone bill outright, or tether approval of the oil sands pipeline to a must-pass spending bill or broader energy package. The latter would make it harder for President Obama to veto the pipeline.
Republicans wouldn't appear to have a veto-proof majority if Obama rejects the pipeline.
But they are getting close to 67 votes, suggesting that if they can woo a few more Democrats to their side, such as Sens. Tom Carper (Del.), Chris Coons (Del.) or Bill Nelson (Fla.), they could get there.
Republicans believe that in his final two years in office, Obama might just approve Keystone if a bill hits his desk.
“I actually think the president will sign the bill on the Keystone pipeline because I think the pressure — he’s going to be boxed in on that, and I think it’s going to happen,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Daily Rundown.”
Obama has been under significant pressure from green groups to reject the pipeline, and there have been repeated executive delays that have put off a final decision.
Given GOP gains in the Senate, environmental groups opposed to the pipeline say they will step up their efforrts even more.
“If Obama approves the pipeline it would be a real blow to his legacy on climate, he has a lot to lose in terms of his outgoing reputation,” said Jamie Henn of 350.org. "We are itching to get back in the fight.”