House Approves Keystone Pipeline - Long, Hartzler Vote to Support

Posted on November 15, 2014 16:52 pm CST


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WASHINGTON -- The GOP-led House of Representatives passed legislation Friday, voting 252-161, approving construction of the Keystone pipeline, which would take that decision away from the Obama Administration.  Missouri Reps. Billy Long and Vicky Hartzler both voted in favor of the construction.

Republican U.S. Rep Bill Cassidy is running against Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu. The House has already passed similar legislation, but Republicans hope that this latest vote will give Cassidy a boost in next month's election.

Landrieu has also been pushing for approval of the pipeline, and the Senate is expected to vote on the measure Tuesday. The bill will need 60 votes to pass and it's expected to be a close vote.

In Friday's house vote, Reps. Billy Long (R - MO) and Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) both voted for the Keystone project.

Long's office released this statement: “The Keystone XL pipeline is an important component to strengthening our domestic energy security and providing Americans with jobs.  There is bipartisan support in both the House and Senate to build this pipeline but the president has repeatedly dragged his feet delaying construction of this state-of-the-art energy infrastructure project.  My House colleagues and I have already voted numerous times to move forward on the Keystone XL pipeline.  I hope the Senate quickly takes up and passes the legislation the House passed today so we can move forward and build the Keystone XL pipeline.”

Hartzler's office also released a statement:  ”Construction of the Keystone XL pipeline is about jobs and energy,” said Hartzler. “Approving construction will spur local economies across the United States while creating tens of thousands of jobs as American workers construct a pipeline that will provide a steady flow of oil from Canada. Not only would this help decrease our dependence on foreign oil, it would also help drive down the cost of gas, allowing American families to save more of their hard-earned dollars.”

Senate Democrats who had previously ignored the bill are now moving toward giving it a vote in the lame duck session, knowing that Republicans are likely to force the issue after their newly-elected majority is sworn into office in January.

Republicans sought to mute Landrieu's chances of getting a political boost in her oil-rich state by promising Cassidy a spot on the energy panel, and also having him sponsor the House's legislation to authorize the pipeline.

The legislation would take the approval of the pipeline, which would run from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, out of the hands of President Barack Obama's administration.

His State Department -- which must approve the pipeline, since it crosses international borders -- is six years into a review of the project. Obama told reporters Friday in Myanmar that his "position hasn't changed."

He said the pipeline is still facing a challenge from Nebraska landowners and said he doesn't think "we should circuit that process."


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