A group of 44 GOP senators and 9 Democratic senators urged President Obama to approve the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline:
“Nebraska recently approved a new Keystone XL Pipeline route. Four and a half years after TransCanada first applied for a Presidential Permit, and a year since you denied their original request, the project still awaits your approval. Nebraska has now addressed the outstanding concerns you raised when you denied the permit, and we therefore urge you to finish expeditiously the review process and approve the pipeline.
“Specifically, the new pipeline route in Nebraska avoids the Sand Hills, which you cited as a concern in your denial. The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality determined the pipeline would have minimal environmental impact and would generate significant economic benefits in the state of Nebraska. This is on top of the thousands of good-paying union jobs and millions of dollars in economic development for our country as a whole, none of which cost any taxpayer money. The pipeline is also a major step toward American energy security. Canada plans to develop this oil resource and the only question is whether we receive the oil from our friend and ally or whether Canada is forced to look for new partners in Asia because we turned them away.
“On March 22, 2012, you directed federal agencies to accelerate approval of vital energy infrastructure projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline. We strongly urge you to direct the State Department to accelerate the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) and quickly complete the National Interest Determination.
President Obama doesn't have any legitimate excuses left in his bag of tricks. Nonetheless, it'd be surprising if he approved this project. He's been liberated from running for election again, meaning he doesn't have to pretend he cares about doing what's right for America.
He's free to be the terribly misguided hardline progressive that he's always been. He's free to stunt economic growth with counterproductive policies. That's what he'll likely do with this initiative.
The 9 Democrats who signed Sen. Hoeven's letter are Max Baucus, MT, Mary Landrieu, LA, Mark Begich, AK, Mark Prior, AR, Joe Manchin, WVA, Joe Donelly, IN, Kay Hagan, NC, Heidi Heitkamp, ND, and Mark Warner.
Conspicuously missing from that list are Minnesota senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson. Sen. Klobuchar has crafted a faux image of bipartisanship. It's incredibly phony because the bipartisanship only happens with nothing bills that don't have a chance of affecting anything meaningful.
Sen. Franken and Sen. Johnson not signing onto this is interesting in that they rely heavily on union votes and they're both up for re-election in 2014. Their opponents will certainly use their silence on this important union issue against them.