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

By    |   Friday, 09 October 2015 12:14 AM

Tennessee senators are squarely behind the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and continue to vote in favor of legislation to push it forward.

The Keystone XL pipeline project would move crude oil from the Canadian oil sands to the Gulf of Mexico for refining.

The pipeline has been under review since 2008. The Obama administration has been concerned about the environmental impact of the project and has put a decision on the project on hold. The New York Times reported President Obama vetoed a Senate effort to approve the construction of the pipeline because he wanted to retain the authority to make the “final decision” on the project. The Senate was unable to get a needed 2/3 majority to override the veto.

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Tennessee Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker both voted for a 2015 measure that would allow the pipeline construction to begin. The Republican senators also voted for the veto override which only garnered 67 votes and failed to have the needed two-thirds majority support in the Senate to pass.

Alexander has criticized the president’s veto and encouraged his constituents to write to the president requesting support for finishing the Keystone XL pipeline.

Alexander, who sits on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, co-sponsored the bill, which was introduced by Republican Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota.

In a statement about the president’s veto of the Keystone XL pipeline legislation, Alexander said: “There is simply no reason whatsoever for the president not to approve this project that will create thousands of jobs for American workers and put our country one step closer to energy independence.”

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Corker has also co-sponsored legislation in the past to push forward the Keystone XL pipeline. After a delay in 2011 on the North American Energy Security Act, which would have required the secretary of state to issue a permit to begin construction, Corker issued a statement supporting the project based on the economic impact it could have on the United States.

“With the unemployment rate at 9 percent, I have serious concerns about the impact this deferral may have on job creation. Reports indicate that the pipeline’s construction will create up to 20,000 direct jobs immediately and could create tens of thousands of indirect jobs. Further, it would inhibit U.S. access to 800,000 barrels of Canadian oil daily from a stable and dependable economic partner, reinforcing our dependence on the Middle East and other volatile oil producing countries. Since this decision, it has been reported that Canada is already looking for other markets to sell their oil and once this opportunity to do business with a stable partner is gone, I fear it will be gone forever,” said Corker, in a statement.

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Tennessee senators are squarely behind the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and continue to vote in favor of legislation to push it forward.
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Friday, 09 October 2015 12:14 AM
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