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

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

By    |   Thursday, 01 Oct 2015 09:48 PM

The Keystone XL pipeline, a line in the sand both figurative and literal for environmentalists and the energy sector, was denied approval for construction in 2014 by the margin of a single vote, narrowly defeating the largely Republican-supported Senate bill 2280.

Approval of the bill would have allowed the TransCanada Keystone Pipeline company to construct and operate a pipeline from Canada through the Midwest to the Gulf where refineries expect crude oil to be pumped down from Canadian tar sands.

Despite all 45 Senate Republicans voting for the bill, they failed to secure enough votes across the aisle in the 59-41 defeat. Only 14 Senate Democrats voted in favor of it against 39 from their own party in addition to two independents. However, while 60 votes would have passed it, the bill would have needed 67 votes, a two-thirds majority, to circumvent a likely veto from President Obama.

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The voting of Delaware's Democratic delegation was fractured, providing one of the few Democrat votes in favor of the measure. Sen. Chris Coons cast a no vote on approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. Coons' Democratic colleague, elder statesman, Sen. Tom Carper, voted yes.

Sen. Carper voted for the bill as an olive branch in hopes of garnering bipartisan support for other environmental legislation that he felt was being held up by this singular issue

“We need to address this issue and we need to move on. My hope is that my willingness to show some flexibility at this point in time will be reciprocated by the Republicans in a new majority when the time comes to address clean-air issues, clean-energy issues, energy conservation issues in a new Congress — because I sure expect them to reciprocate,” said Carper, according to The News-Journal.

Coons voted against the bill as a matter of procedure, according to statements made by his spokesman to The News-Journal. “He believes it’s the administration’s decision to make, and that it’s not Congress’ job to issue construction permits,” said Coons’ spokesman Ian Koski. Koski also offered the paper no opinions from the senator on what action the president should have take.

S.2280 was introduced May 1, 2014, by North Dakota Republican Sen. John Hoeven, and 55 senators co-signed it. The bill failed on Nov. 18, 2014.

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The Keystone XL pipeline was denied approval for construction in 2014 by the margin of a single vote, narrowly defeating the largely Republican-supported Senate bill 2280. The voting of Delaware's Democratic delegation was fractured, providing one of the few Democrat votes in favor of the measure.
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