Louisiana is an essential spot for oil drilling and energy production favored by many voters. The U.S. Senators from the state have been supporters of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Former Sen. Mary Landrieu was instrumental in bringing a vote on the pipeline to the Senate floor in 2014.
Landrieu, a Democrat, was later defeated in a run-off election against Republican Bill Cassidy, who along with GOP colleague, Sen. David Vitter, became a key supporter in seeking approval for the Keystone XL project.
Cassidy expressed his support for the project in his first Senate floor speech in January 2015 just before a Republican-controlled Senate took up the Keystone vote again.
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Speaking to environmentalists concerned about energy production with fossil fuels, Cassidy noted that the State Department conclusion that “our Gulf Coast refineries are uniquely equipped to process that oil in an environmentally safe way,” and he said it would have the advantage of bringing energy independence to the U.S. as well as providing more jobs, The Times-Picayune reported
The Republicans in the Senate along with nine Democrats supported expansion of the Keystone pipeline into more areas of the U.S. from Canada in a 62-36, USA Today reported
. Obama vetoed the legislation, and the Senate did not have enough votes to override the veto.
After Obama’s veto, Vitter stated that the Keystone Pipeline had the potential of creating more jobs as well as bringing a boost to the U.S. economy.
Vitter, who was the first member of the Senate to introduce legislation that would expedite the pipeline in 2011, said in a statement
: “After six years of equivocating, today President Obama has proven that he puts his political agenda ahead of bipartisan compromise, job creation, and energy independence. Vetoing this legislation is just sheer political spite.”
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Vitter maintained the Keystone XL project would create more than 20,000 direct jobs and more than 100,000 indirect jobs.
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