Carrying through on his promise, the President has vetoed the Keystone XL bill. The right wing will now go nuts, as usual.
Our government news of the day is a shocking act of Democratic obstructionism in the Senate, where the bill to authorize construction of the Keystone XL pipeline was narrowly defeated today.
WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Tuesday defeated a bill, 59 to 41, that would have approved the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, rebuffing a Democratic colleague, Senator Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, who had hoped to muscle the legislation through in advance of her uphill runoff election fight back home.
Forty Democrats and Angus King, independent of Maine, voted against the bill, with just 14 Democrats joining all 45 Republicans in support of the oil pipeline.
The battle over approving the pipeline, which will carry petroleum from the oil sands of Canada to the Gulf Coast of Texas, ultimately became a proxy war for the Louisiana Senate seat, where Ms. Landrieu and Representative Bill Cassidy, a Republican, are locked in fight for votes in their oil-rich state ahead of a Dec. 6 runoff election.
The bill is sure to come up again in the new Senate, but it would still be unlikely to get the 67 votes needed to override a Presidential veto. The real loser in this vote is Mary Landrieu, who fought hard to get Democrats to support it and lost — and now may lose her Senate seat.
Nebraska Judge Stephanie F. Stacy has struck down a law that allowed the state government to approve the route of the Keystone XL pipeline and seize property for it through eminent domain, because it violates the state’s constitution: Nebraska Judge Strikes Down Legislature’s Move Allowing Keystone XL Route.
Stacy concluded that the state legislature could not take the routing power away from its Public Service Commission and allow Heineman to make the decision. More than 200 miles of the proposed pipeline, which would carry as many as 830,000 barrels of heavy crude oil daily from Canada to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico, would run through Nebraska.
The judge’s decision to overturn LB 1161, enacted in the final hours of the state’s 2012 session, means “there is no approved route across Nebraska now,” said David A. Domina, the lawyer who represented the three landowners who filed the lawsuit. “This statute is the only statute we have out here that creates a procedure for getting a permit” for a pipeline, said Domina, who is running for U.S. Senate as a Democrat this fall.
Garth Lenz is one of the world’s most famous conservation photographers (with a perfect name for it), and here he is with a TED Talk, using his stunning photography to illustrate exactly what happens to an ecosystem when we mine its tar sands to extract oil. It’s pretty shocking to see the terrible reality behind the Keystone XL debate.
Lenz gets choked up at a couple of points in his presentation, and it isn’t hard to see why.