Michigan’s two Democratic Senators, Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow, both voted against the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Their concerns were mainly environmental, and they tried to add amendments to the bill that would have enhanced safety measures.
The Keystone XL project is a proposed extension of the current pipeline that stretches from Alberta, Canada, through areas in the U.S. south to Texas. The proposed addition would create a shorter route from the north, bringing the pipeline through Montana to Nebraska and on south. Larger pipe is also proposed.
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An analysis by the State Department concluded that the Keystone XL would create 42,000 jobs, USA Today reported
. Opponents questioned if these jobs would be permanent. Critics have also voiced concerns about the environmental impact on using more fossil fuels for energy production in the U.S., while supporters of the pipeline said the project would help make the U.S. energy independent.
The Senate voted 62-36 in favor of the construction, but President Obama later vetoed the bill. Peters and Stabenow were among Senators who also voted against overriding the president’s veto. The 62 votes favoring an override fell five votes short of a two-thirds necessary to bypass the veto.
Peters and Stabenow showed their concerns about the environmental impact of the pipeline by attempting to introduce amendments to the bill that would address byproducts of oil refining that pose a danger to U.S. waters. Michigan residents experienced environmental concerns from petroleum byproducts along a Detroit riverfront in 2013.
Peters said the amendments proposed by the Michigan Senators would study potential risks of the Keystone XL project, according to the Detroit Free Press
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Stabenow stated: “Since Canadian oil companies don’t pay into the trust fund used to clean up oil spills, it’s even more important that we make sure the pipelines owned by Canadian companies, like the Keystone Pipeline and the pipeline running under the Straits of Mackinac, are safe and that American taxpayers will not be forced to bail them out if a pipeline breaks.”
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