Tags: Global Warming | keystone xl | pipeline | vote | wisconsin | senators

How Did Wisconsin Senators Vote in Narrow Defeat of Keystone XL Pipeline?

By    |   Wednesday, 14 Oct 2015 09:44 PM

Wisconsin's two U.S. senators voted on opposing sides March 4, 2015, as opponents of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline sustained President Barack Obama’s veto of a bill that would have brought about the pipeline’s construction.

Sixty-two Senators voted to overturn the veto — five short of the 67 needed to accomplish that — while 37 cast ballots against the move and one didn’t vote. Senior Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican, voted to override the veto while junior Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat, voted to sustain it.

Johnson had released a statement on November 2014
supporting construction of the pipeline, saying, “Americans hungry for work could have benefited long ago if the Democrats and the president had listened, as multiple studies, now confirmed, showed that building the pipeline is the most environmentally friendly method of transporting oil from Canada.”

Baldwin opposed construction of the pipeline when the Senate voted to approve it Jan. 29, 2015.

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“Congress should not be in the business of approving individual pipelines, and I have serious concerns about the precedent this vote has set. If constructed, Keystone XL oil would flow from Canada, through American communities, and would be exported to other countries – potentially leading to increases in gas prices in the Midwest. This would be a price Wisconsin families and businesses should not have to pay,” Baldwin said in a statement.

The votes by Johnson and Baldwin followed along party lines in the debate over the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry 830,000 barrels of crude oil daily.

The pipeline would run from Canada through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Republicans supported building the pipeline to create jobs while Obama raised concerns about Keystone XL’s potential effects on climate change and questioned how much of an effect it would have on employment.

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The Senate voted 62-36 on Jan. 29 to pass a bill seeking to force construction of the 840-mile pipeline, which Obama had vowed to veto so long as federal environmental reviews continued, reported The Washington Post. Of the Senate’s 54 Republicans, 53 voted in favor of the bill – along with nine Democrats. The other Republican, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, did not vote.

The House of Representatives then voted 270-152 on Feb. 11 to approve the bill, which Obama vetoed Feb. 24.

All 54 Senate Republicans, including Johnson, were among the 62 Senators who voted March 4 in favor of the unsuccessful attempt to override Obama’s veto. Eight Democratic Senators voted in favor of the override and 37 Senate Democrats, including Baldwin, voted against it while one Democrat — Joe Donnelly of Indiana, who had voted in favor of the bill on Jan. 29 — did not vote.

North Dakota Republican Sen. John Hoeven, who introduced the bill, said after the failed override attempt that pipeline supporters would try to attach Keystone pipeline approval to another bill this year, Reuters reported.

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Wisconsin's two U.S. senators voted on opposing sides March 4, 2015, as opponents of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline sustained President Barack Obama’s veto of a bill that would have brought about the pipeline’s construction.
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Wednesday, 14 Oct 2015 09:44 PM
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