Tags: Global Warming | keystone xl | pipeline | vote | vermont | senators

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

By    |   Tuesday, 13 Oct 2015 05:05 PM

Longtime champions for environmental causes, Vermont Sens. Bernie Sanders and Pat Leahy have remained united in their opposition to anything they feel will adversely affect the planet.

The hotly debated construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, a 1,179-mile structure that would transport oil from Alberta, Canada to Steele City, Nebraska, via Montana and South Dakota, has been one of those issues.

Sanders, an independent, and Leahy, a Democrat, stayed true to their beliefs in March 2015, when they voted to sustain the veto from President Barack Obama, thus keeping the project dormant. The measure to build the pipeline was originally defeated in November 2014, but a new Republican Congress approved it in January, sending it to the president's desk.

Obama then enacted the third veto of his presidency. The motion to disregard the veto went 62-37, five votes short of the required 67, or two-thirds majority. The 62 votes were the same amount of those who passed the bill in January, meaning no new additional votes were added during the veto override process.

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Fifty-three of the 54 Senate Republicans (Florida Sen. Marco Rubio didn't vote) were joined by nine Senate Democrats in support of Keystone XL.

Sanders warned that the Keystone XL would help keep the country dependent on fossil fuels when sources of renewable energy should be explored. The 2016 presidential candidate granted numerous television interviews in the months leading up to the vote on the veto.

"Unless we get our act together, the planet that we're going to be leaving to our kids and grandchildren will be significantly less habitable than the planet we have right now," Sanders told MSNBC in January 2015. "I think it's a good idea for the president, Congress, and the American people to listen to the overwhelming amount of scientists who tell us loudly and clearly that climate change is one of the great planetary crises that we face."

Sanders also posted an interview from an appearance on "All In with Chris Hayes" on his website following the November vote.

Leahy, who's been serving Vermont since 1975, echoed that sentiment.

"Tar sands are one of the world's dirtiest fuels, and the Alberta tar sands are estimated to contain enough carbon to raise carbon emissions in the atmosphere by 200 parts per million," said Leahy in a statement.

"That would boost the current level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by more than half. Unfortunately, many are trying to portray the debate over the Keystone XL pipeline as a deadlock over 'jobs versus the environment,' when the fact is we have the opportunity to create a sustainable new energy economy that generates jobs, protects our health, and brightens our future," Leahy continued.

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Longtime champions for environmental causes, Vermont Sens. Bernie Sanders and Pat Leahy remain united in their opposition to anything they feel will adversely affect the planet, including the hotly debated construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
keystone xl, pipeline, vote, vermont, senators
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2015-05-13
Tuesday, 13 Oct 2015 05:05 PM
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