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Keystone XL Is Another Midterms Winner

Brad Plumer of Vox : “Now that Republicans control both the House and Senate, they’ll be looking to push a bill to fast-track approval of the controversial pipeline … The pipeline has been held up by the White House over concerns that expanded tar sands production could exacerbate climate change.”  

“And the GOP might succeed. According to Kate Sheppard, there are now at least 61 pro-Keystone Republicans and Democrats in the Senate. That’s enough to overcome a filibuster by the remaining Democrats, though it’s not yet enough to overcome a White House veto.”  

“So one big question is whether President Obama would veto … A lot may depend on the form that the bill takes. If Republicans sent a standalone pro-Keystone bill to the White House, Obama could veto rather easily. But if it was attached to a larger budget bill? If a government shutdown was potentially at stake? That’s tougher.”  

“Now that oil prices are lower — around $80 per barrel — the extra cost of rail starts to pinch. That makes Keystone XL somewhat more important for continued oil production in Canada, raising the stakes for both backers and opponents alike.”

Topics: wonk-wire