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Keystone XL Pipeline: Senate consideration continues

While the President continues to send ominous signals on the Keystone XL pipeline, the Senate resumed consideration on January 20 of S. 1, a bill to approve the pipeline. As anticipated, a large number of amendments have been filed (more than 70 to date) on a wide range of issues. Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA) continue to work on an orderly amendment process.

To steer the approval legislation toward passage, the NAM sent Key Vote letters to the Senate this week on three amendments. The NAM supported amendment S.A. 3 by Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) to increase energy efficiency, which was later approved by a 94–5 vote. The NAM opposed S.A. 13 offered by Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) to ban the exports of crude or by-products transported by the Keystone XL pipeline. The amendment subsequently was defeated by a vote of 42–57, and National Journal noted our Key Vote letter. The NAM opposed S.A. 69 offered by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) to place potential unnecessary restrictions on the storage, handling and transportation of petroleum coke. The amendment was defeated by a vote of 40–59.

The amendment process is expected to continue for several more weeks.

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