The two U.S. Senators from Kentucky, Republicans Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, tried unsuccessfully to get approval for Keystone XL Pipeline. They voted to authorize construction of the pipeline in 2014 under a Democratically controlled Senate and again in January 2015 when Republicans took control of the Senate.
However, President Obama, taking sides with environmentalists concerned about more fossil fuels used for energy production, vetoed the approval by the Republican Senate in 2015. The Senate had voted 62-36 to pass the bill that continued the oil pipeline from Canada through the U.S., but fell five votes short to override Obama’s veto.
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McConnell, the Senate majority leader, repeatedly reminded colleagues and opponents that Obama’s own State Department estimated some 42,000 new jobs would be created through the Keystone XL Pipeline. He said it could be done with minimal environmental impact.
“Constructing Keystone would pump billions into our economy,” McConnell said, according to USA Today
. “It would support thousands of good American jobs.”
Paul has made his position clear that coal energy, a huge industry in Kentucky, would help provide a boon to the U.S. economy, CNN reported
. Along with being a strong advocate for the Keystone XL Pipeline, Paul also supports more drilling for energy needs on government-owned property.
His advocacy of the pipeline comes from the new jobs it would create and also bringing American energy independence.
“Citizens are losing out on the benefits of more efficient and available energy transport,” he said, according to The Fuse, an energy policy site
. “Railroads are now moving oil instead, which is a far more costly and less safe mode of transportation.”
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Paul, a candidate for the presidency in the 2016 election, has criticized the Obama administration for delaying the construction of the Keystone XL project while claiming to want reduced dependence on foreign oil.
The Republicans got the support of eight Democrats in the Senate to vote to override Obama’s veto, but it was not enough. Supporters of the Keystone project hope to continue construction by attaching it to another bill.
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