Senators Respond to Keystone Pipeline Vote - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Senators Respond to Keystone Pipeline Vote

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WASHINGTON, D.C.- Despite the threat of a presidential veto, the U.S. Senate has approved a bill to construct the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Nine Democrats sided with the GOP in a 62-36 vote Thursday, though that margin isn't enough to override a Presidential veto.

Supporters say the pipeline, which would run from Canada to the Gulf Coast, will create jobs and energy independence.

Critics, on the other hand, say it would create few permanent jobs and that energy produced will be sold on the global market.

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) voted against the measure, saying the bill gives “a competitive advantage for the shipping of the world's dirtiest oil…for a long-term advantage of three-dozen American jobs."

In a statement, Cardin said the newly elected congress focused too much attention on a bill that “will never become law.”

“Now that we have wasted the first month of this new Congress… let's set it aside and begin to work together on an energy policy that makes sense for America today and in the long-term.” Cardin said.

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.) also voted against the measure. In a statement, Kaine said, “Our national goal should be to generate energy cleaner tomorrow than we do today, not to embrace tar sands oil that is 15-20% more pollution-intensive than conventional oil.”

Both Kaine and Cardin also said that instead of oil, the U.S. should focus on using clean energy to grow the economy.

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) voted in favor of the measure, one of the nine Democrats to do so.

In a statement, Carper said this issue “has been mired in partisan politics and has dragged on for six long years.” Carper said he felt six years was long enough, and “it was time to move on to other matters that will have greater impact.”

Cardin said he hoped his vote would show Republican senators that he was “serious about working together to find common ground on this and other challenging policies.”

Though this bill did pass in the Senate, it must be reconciled with the House version.

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