Senate pushing forward on Keystone, despite President. Progress – a nice change of pace.

From USA Today:

After more than two weeks of debate on numerous amendments, the Senate cleared a key hurdle with a 62-35 vote Thursday to complete work on legislation approving the north-south pipeline for Canadian oil that Republicans advocated as a way to create thousands of U.S. jobs. The vote exceeded the 60-vote threshold needed to cut off additional debate on the bill and set up the Senate to pass the bill later in the day. But the tally was short of the 67 votes the Senate would need to override a presidential veto.

Nine Democrats joined a unanimous Republican caucus to support the bill: Sens. Michael Bennet of Colorado, Tom Carper of Delaware, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of Montana and Mark Warner of Virginia.

Before the vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., urged his colleagues to pass the measure. “Constructing Keystone would pump billions into our economy. It would support thousands of good American jobs,” he said. “And as the president’s own State Department has indicated, it would do this with minimal environmental impact.”

Read it here.

What’s that sound I hear? Progress.  Progress you didn’t hear or see anything of under Democrat rule in the US Senate.   For better or worse, up or down, votes are happening, especially on Keystone, a project long sandbagged by the administration.

Progress – It’s a nice change of pace.

24 thoughts on “Senate pushing forward on Keystone, despite President. Progress – a nice change of pace.”

  1. LATimes–Jan. 20—“TransCanada Corp., the Canadian company behind the Keystone XL pipeline, filed eminent domain proceedings against an estimated 90 Nebraska landowners Tuesday to secure the right to build the controversial project across their property.”
    Again I ask what grand benefits for our country from TransCanada justifies a foreign company taking Americans land for commercial or ANY purposes using eminent domain?
    If this administration wanted to take Americans land for ANY non military reason the conservatives would be screaming socialism and I might agree with them.
    Can somebody tell me factually without the sound-bytes why this issue with TC has turned conservatism on its head regarding eminent domain? A FOREIGN company is trying to take land from Americans… HOW do you justify that?
    If y’all think this close to being settled because of congress and Obama, it is NOT–google—lawsuits against trans canada.

  2. If you have spent the last 100 years living under a rock, you might be excused for not understanding the relationship between energy and national security. Everybody else has figured it out.

    1. Meaningless insulting quips are easy.
      Can you answer the question I asked?
      Can you tell us how foreign oil going to the coast for shipment has anything to do with U.S. energy independence
      If you haven’t heard this country is the leading producer of oil and natural gas.

  3. Jaa Dee,

    I find the ownership of TransCanada irrelevant to anything. Canada is an ally and in the US we don’t discriminate against FOREIGN (odd that you capitalize that) companies who want to do business in the US. Just as our companies don’t get discriminated in their countries.

    1. Troy, just curious. Can you (or anyone here) cite a comparable instance where the US Government or a US Corporation has exercised its right of eminent domain in Canada for commercial (or any other) purposes?

    2. Troy Jones — Do you believe what you said? Do you understand what you said?
      Sir I saw first thing here your habit of trying to deflect when you can’t defend your your views or honestly answer a question ….Sir I asked a question, you replied with disingenuous deflection,…..Can you answer the question, sir?

      Can somebody tell me factually without the sound-bytes why this issue with TC has turned conservatism on its head regarding eminent domain? A FOREIGN company is trying to take land from Americans… HOW do you justify that?

      Echoing Fleming— Give ONE example of a FOREIGN country much less a FOREIGN company taking Americans land for any reason….It is irrelevant that the company is foreign? Absurd—“If this administration wanted to take Americans land for ANY non military reason the conservatives would be screaming socialism”—If you disagree with that it is just as silly as your “irrelevant” statement….sir.

  4. Bill,

    Nope. What is the relevance?

    By the way, a US citizen or US company much less a FORIEGN (again, goofy it is capitalized but anyway) has any “right” to exercise eminent domain. Eminent domain is exercised by the government.

    1. ” Eminent domain is exercised by the government”——-.“TransCanada Corp., the Canadian company behind the Keystone XL pipeline, filed eminent domain proceedings against an estimated 90 Nebraska landowners”—-Is that a lie sir? Give ONE (1) instance of the government using eminent domain for the proposed pipeline, before the decision to allow the building of that pipeline.

      It is obvious that you have no idea what has been and is going on regarding eminent domain and this issue

  5. I’ve had a lot of fun watching people against Keystone use an argument I call “video gamer stupid.”

    It goes like this: Opponents to Keystone (mostly liberal Democrats) decided they needed some arguments to appeal to Republicans and they hired some Colorado dudes smoking dope in a basement who play video games.

    After an all-nighter, one of the dudes said “We need to get on that Republican anti-Keystone project.” So they could get back to their video games, one guy said “Hey man, let’s say it is a foreign company. Those Republicans hate foreigners. They’ll fall right in line.” And, everyone agreed, they wrote it up on their Pizza box and had the next Pizza delivery guy deliver it to the anti-Keystone interests who sent it out in a talking point memo.

    And, ever since, we’ve seen it over and over and over. And, to no avail. Republicans just keep supporting Keystone. What those dopers (and the people who keep sending out the talking point don’t realize is:

    Republicans are free traders and we are laughing that the video gamers are using an argument that actually helps Keystone. And has the additional benefit of confirming Colorado made a mistake on legalization of marijuana.

    Kinda sad. I’ve enjoyed the lunacy of the argument.

    Sidenote: How do I know they are Colorado dopers? You gotta be stoned to be that stupid and mis-market that bad. Gotta be.

    1. Sir, since I have been commenting here not ONE of you supporters of XL has given ONE factual reason that pipeline benefits this country other than some jobs lasting less than a year….Can you give us that list of benefits?./
      A FOREIGN company is trying to take land from Americans… HOW do you justify that?

      Sir,Now you’re telling childish jokes, insulting those you disagree with, making up silly scenarios and claims as deflections while the only thing you have given to support your opinion is the un-American approval of FOREIGNERS taking land from Americans

      You have made my points amply, sir, a reply of the meaningless caliber as your previous ones is not necessary.

  6. Jaa Dee,

    Said in a whisper hoping to keep the laughter down: At least you dropped the caps from foreign but Anne didn’t say “US energy independence” she said “energy security.” Canada is our very best ally in the world and the pipeline goes through our country and to our port. Certainly better than relying on what is coming out of the Middle East.

    Sidenote: Have you played the Beta version of “The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask in 3D” coming out in a few weeks? You might want to put down the doobie and video game controller.

    1. Sir, I do not care about your blathering deflections nor do I find it amusing—I will try again—-Can you deny anything I stated in my first comment? Can you answer the question I asked?

  7. Jaa Dee:

    I am a free trader. I don’t give a rip about the nationality of a company doing legal business in the US.

    Eminent Domain is a power exercised by the government for the public good. Your quote refers to proceedings which accesses governmental power delegated to the approved party to execute. TransCanada can do nothing without government approval. See 5th Amendment to Constitution and how it is practically delegated to the states on the procedures. Each of the states in the Keystone path has agreed to exercise eminent domain and delegated this to Keystone as per the law. Again, it is the states who have the power. Not private companies. And, the proceedings referenced in your quote is a legal court proceeding.

    We have 2.5 million miles of pipelines in this country (Keystone adds .1%), millions of miles of railroads, millions of miles of roads, million miles of electrical and telephone cables all because of eminent domain. I’m grateful for eminent domain serving the public good and our country would be weaker, poorer, and less stable without all of those millions of miles of various forms of transportation.

    Finally, I couldn’t give a rip if Canada disallows a US company doing something for the public good of Canada. That is their loss.

    In short, none of your arguments resonate. Keep yelling them if you want.

    Sound bite-less enough for you? Answer your questions?

    By the way, why are you “asking” questions? To get information to change your mind? Or do you somehow think they’ll change my mind?

  8. Bill,

    I’m not stonewalling. Jaa Dee thinks he has a series of rhetorical questions that he thinks will impact Republican support of Keystone. i’m telling him they have the opposite effect and yelling them in CAPS only engenders laughter. And, yes I know he isn’t laughing with me. But, I am laughing just the same.

    Eminent Domain is a power we delegated to the government in the Constitution. The several states have the power to decide when to exercise it. South Dakota has approved it. I agree with the decision of South Dakota. I find getting the Alberta oil shale efficiently out of Canada, through our nation, and to our oil refineries and ports sufficient US public good just because it introduces additional oil to the world market in competition with Venezualan, Russian and Middle East oil producers.

    The current preemptive action by Saudia Arabia to drop oil prices and ultimately gas prices is a side benefit. (Sidenote: SA is not doing this out of the goodness of their heart. They know that Keystone/Bakken will have a significant impact on their power and revenue for generations.)

    Private and Tribal parties have the right to petition to courts to determine if Keystone is a legitimate public good or not.

    As a free trader, the fact Keystone is owned by a Canadian company doesn’t mean squat to me.

  9. P.S. Bill,

    Sometime ago, i asked Jaa Dee if the Keystone was owned by a US company, would he change his position. He said “of course not.” Since the ownership by a FOREIGN company is irrelevant to him, I’m telling him it is irrelevant to me.

    Thus, if his problem is with eminent domain, does he have the same problem with the millions of miles taken almost yearly for pipelines, roads, railroads, utility lines? I assume he has no problem with that since he didn’t answer the question (deflected? LOL). I’m telling him that eminent domain is a good thing.

    Bottomline: I support Keystone. He doesn’t. If he wants to change my mind (and that of other supporters, in particular Republicans), these arguments actually have the effect of solidifying GOP support for Keystone.

  10. Bill,

    Finally, if I went over to say a liberal website where God is at best treated agnostically, how effective would I be if the essence of my argument was the Bible and the threat of Hell?

    So it is here when argues FOREIGNER, FOREIGNER and impugning the value of use of eminent domain for transportation of goods and services to a free trade, pro-economic growth audience.

    After awhile, in mercy, you just have to say “you are making a fool of yourself and you best find a new line of argument. Wrong message for this audience. This is just hurting your cause.”

  11. the conservative reaction to eminent domain dates back to the instance of city governments trying to glom onto undeveloped land in their jurisdictions, for the purpose of forcing the kind of development that would make the properties into revenue generators. the courts heard the arguments and it was a great chance for congress to tap into the wants of the people. our state had eminent domain bills come forward from that same outrage. the effort to co-opt the public anger toward that eminent domain, and use it to block the standard and accepted practice of eminent domain as in this case, is wrong. the argument by jaa dee hinges on that conflation, and is in error.

  12. Well there is a list of issues, Troy, and the Foreign country one is certainly a valid one, especially when it comes to exporting jobs, and digging taxes, but also for the landowners being asked to weigh their ownership of the land against what you claim is the public good, especially when the arguments for the public good are so weak.

    It is far easier to see how the additional pipeline will benefit Keystone’s bottomline and by extension, Canada’s than it is to see how it will benefit our general public. Plus, environmentally, those landholders and virtually everyone dependent on the Oglala aquifer are the ones taking all the risk.

    Finally, there is the added carbon footprint from stockpiling and consuming all that oil when the scientific consensus is that we should be devoting much more time and energy developing cleaner eco-friendlier forms of energy. In short, even if you win, it won’t mean you were right. I’m couting on the President to veto the bill. Looks like he may be our last line of defense.

  13. Bill,

    Your last paragraph is a legitimate argument to debate (I reject it and disagree) but Jaa Dee’s argument it is about foreigners and property rights is as ingenuous as can be.

    I wasn’t born yesterday and to advocate stupidity and to think I am that dumb to buy it is well….. Dumb.

    And I gotta believe only a doper who plays video games can be that stupid.

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