The two Democratic Senators from Massachusetts, Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren, voiced their opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline with votes against the measure on the Senate floor.
Although the Senate voted 62-36 in favor of authorizing the construction of the pipeline, the votes weren’t enough to override a veto by President Obama. Markey and Warren also voted against overriding the veto. The Republican-controlled Senate was able to get backing from nine Democrats in supporting the bill, but the tally needed 67 votes to bypass Obama’s veto.
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Supporters of the Keystone XL project cited estimates by the State Department that it would create 42,000 jobs, USA Today reported
. Critics questioned the number of jobs and whether they would be permanent. Opponents also argued that much of the oil would be exported when supporters said the pipeline would help the U.S. to become energy independent.
Markey tried to include an amendment to the bill that would keep the oil transported from the pipeline in the U.S. The measure was blocked, partly based on the oil industry’s concerns about lifting current bans on U.S. oil exports.
According to Mass Live, Markey stated
: “Keystone XL isn’t about helping people at the pump, it’s about pumping up profits for oil companies – and blocking my amendment proves it.”
Markey maintained that if the U.S. was going to create an environmental risk by “transporting this dirty Canadian oil,” we should make sure we don’t re-export it to foreign countries.
Warren agreed with Markey that the proposed expansion of the pipeline would have a negative environmental impact while also sending oil into the world market with little benefit to the U.S. She also had doubts about the number of jobs the project would create.
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“If this is about energy policy, Keystone is about bringing oil down to the gulf and preparing it for export,” she said, according to Mass Live
The proposed Keystone XL Pipeline is an expansion of the existing pipeline that delivers oil from Canada to areas in the U.S., including refineries in Texas and Illinois. The Keystone XL project takes a shorter route in the northern region of the U.S. from Montana through Nebraska.
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