Keystone XL Bill Clears First Senate Vote

One of Obama’s complaints in saying he would veto any Keystone XL pipeline legislation was that there was a lawsuit pending in Nebraska. That lawsuit was thrown out a few days ago, leading John Boehner to say “President Obama is now out of excuses for blocking the Keystone pipeline and the thousands of American jobs it would create. Finally, it’s time to start building.”

(AP) Legislation approving construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline cleared an initial Senate hurdle Monday, a victory for newly empowered Republicans angling for a quick veto showdown with President Barack Obama.

The bipartisan 63-32 vote was three more than the 60 required, and well above the level the highly controversial measure ever gained in recent years when Democrats controlled the Senate.

A final vote will be taken this week, then it will be sent to Obama’s desk.

It added that not all the employment would be newly created, though. It said some of the jobs would be “continuity of existing jobs in current or new locations,” a distinction often overlooked by the bill’s supporters.

Once the proposed project opens, it will require “approximately 50 total employees in the United States: 35 permanent employees and 15 temporary contractors,” the State Department estimated.

That’s the way it works in construction. Then the workers move onto other projects. Are 42K jobs for two years a bad thing? The entire Stimulus was set up to create jobs for short term projects, as were the smaller stimulus packages passed by Democrats in 2009 and 2010. Obama constantly talks about infrastructure programs, which, again, would create short term jobs.

Of course, it is interesting that Obama has been touting the rise in domestic oil production, and the huge decrease in gasoline prices. One would think he would want the pipeline, especially since the gasoline price decrease has put some $100 billion into the pockets of Americans, mostly through the gas price decrease. Of course

Zycher, a former UCLA economist who also served on President Reagan’s President’s Council of Economic Advisers, called it “rather disingenuous for the president to take credit for the decline in oil prices and gasoline prices and the increase in incomes generated by increasing production.”

He added: “It’s somewhat amusing. He’s taking credit for an increase in production that has happened largely on private land and had nothing to do with federal government policies.”

The Canadian tar sands oil is going to be transported one way or the other. A pipeline is a lot safer than rail and truck. Fortunately, Canada has waited, rather than moving ahead and sending it to China. If Obama vetoes the legislation, they may not wait any longer.

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13 Responses to “Keystone XL Bill Clears First Senate Vote”

  1. John says:

    Teach we are currently cresting about 3 million new jobs a year
    40000 over 2 years is nothing
    The tar sands are already coming to the USA and our Midwest refiners can buy it cheap because we are the only customer
    The Kochs want the tar sands piped to where there are deep water ports for export
    How will exporting oil from North America benefit us ?
    It will make gas prices in the USA go up

  2. Nighthawk says:

    Ah yes, blame the Koch brothers. Never mind that their interest in the Keystone XL is nil. But who profits if the pipeline ISN’T built. BNSF Railway hauls 80%+ of the crude oil from Canada and charge $30 per barrel. BNSF is owned by Berkshire Hathaway whose chairman is, none other than, Warren Buffet. He could lose more than $2 billion a year if the pipeline isn’t built. Seems to me that this is Obama looking out for his best bud.

  3. john says:

    Yeah the Kochs are the major player in the tar sands NOT the pipeline. The Kochs need a pipeline to a deep sea port to be able to get a workd market price for the tar sands. A
    Tell me why you want North American oil shipped to the world market? Ids it because you want to keep sending US dollars to the mideast ?

    Also your 30$ a barrel cost is crazy and Buffet of course no longer even cares about money he has pledged to donate 99% of his estate to charity, Kochs were asked but chose not to And BNSF does about 75% Sorry to pop your bubble there Nighthawk
    Berkshire Hathaway does not even list ANY railroad as being in its top 15 Rightwing news hosed you by giving you incomplete info and rather than go to primary sources to check what Rush or The Blaze told you you took it at face value.
    from Wiki Berkshire hathaway largest holdings
    from 15 to 1
    American Express Co. (14.2%)
    The Coca-Cola Company (9.1%)
    DIRECTV (4.2%)
    Exxon Mobil Corp. (0.9%)
    Goldman Sachs (2.8%)
    IBM (6.3%)
    Moody’s Corporation, owner of Moody’s Analytics (11.5%)
    Munich Re (11.2%)
    Phillips 66 (3.4%)
    The Procter & Gamble Company (1.9%)
    Sanofi (1.7%)
    Tesco plc (3.7%)
    U.S. Bancorp (5.3%)
    Wal-Mart (1.8%)
    Wells Fargo (9.2%)
    Railroads in total are less than 2%of Berkshire Hataway

    So less than 2% of Buffet’s wealth is from Railways
    He has pledged to give away 99% of his wealth
    but you still think that Obama’s Keystone decision was based on his relationship with Buffet?
    87% of all political donations given in 2014 from petro companies went to the GOP Keystone is a payback to them Keystone will mostly benefit the owners of the Canadian tar sands
    the 44k jobs ???? We have been adding 250K jobs a month

  4. john says:

    Canada hasn’t waited that have tried and failed to get permits for their own pipeline
    And again why should we help them ship North American oil away to China ?
    Right now we can buy it at a discount from our midwest refiners

  5. jl says:

    John-“How will exporting oil from North America benefit us? it will make gas prices in the US go up.” Well, how will leaving millions and millions of barrels of our oil in the ground due to drilling restrictions benefit the US? After all, less oil makes the price go up.

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