Congress Accelerates the Controversial Pipeline Project

Congress Accelerates the Controversial Pipeline Project

Bad posture of US Democrats after the midterm elections could accelerate the controversial issue of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Environmentalists and Native Americans announced Tuesday on November 11 that they were pursuing in court the US State Department for allowing work to increase the capacity of an old pipeline.

American diplomacy has given its “approval this summer” to the Canadian group Enbridge project to almost double the supply capacity of the pipeline called “Line 67″ between Canada and the United States. This authorization was given “without public consultation nor compulsory study,” according eight NGO filed a complaint Tuesday in a Minnesota court that evoke a change in the terms of the building permit which would have required a new authorization process .

This project pipeline of about 1900 km, which will connect the oil sands of Alberta, Canada, to US refineries in Texas, has been embarrassing the US administration for several months. Six years after the filing of the first application for authorization, the procedure has not yet concluded, blocked through an administrative procedure in Nebraska and an administration that is playing for time, Barack Obama has postponed its decision because of reluctance in his camp for environmental reasons.

The House of Representatives dominated by Republicans, had already voted in May 2013 in favor of projects to allow the construction site, but the Senate, then mostly Democrat, had opposed it with a plea of inadmissibility. Democrats, struggling to retain seats in the Upper Room after their election defeat in the midterm elections, have finally changed their tune on Thursday, November 13.

Keep a seat in Louisiana

Anxious to allow the re-election of the Democratic senator from Louisiana, Mary Landrieu, who will defend her seat in a second round of voting on December 6, Democrats, who will lose their majority until January 1, have agreed to vote on the folder. The pipeline project, which Ms. Landrieu supports, is indeed very popular in her state, and a vote in favor of it could ensure a re-election.

It is indeed likely that the project is accepted by the Senate, since at least 11 of the 55 Democratic senators are in support achievement. The vote being subject to a qualified majority of 60 votes out of 100, missing a handful of votes for the democratic resistance is planned for the scheduled vote next Tuesday.

Even in case of acceptance of the Senate it is to be coupled on Thursday with a favorable vote in the House of Representatives, it will be the Obama administration to decide ultimately. In 2013, the White House said that the Democratic president, who has just taken a strong commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, would veto such a measure.

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