What is one issue that might make bipartisan progress after a GOP midterm takeover? The Keystone XL pipeline. A realignment of the Senate has tipped the scales in favor of the pipeline’s approval. A CEA analysis of previous voting records shows that the election of pro-Keystone candidates in West Virginia, Iowa, and Colorado means that there are now at least 61 Democrats and Republicans in the Senate who support the project.
More importantly, 65% of the American public believes that the pipeline should be built, and some Democratic senators may have paid the price at the polls this election season by withholding support for this important measure in American energy stability. Polling conducted on behalf of Consumer Energy Alliance shows that the majority of undecided voters in Colorado and Iowa, states with anti-Keystone Democrat candidates who lost their races on Election Day, support the construction of the pipeline.
In elections where every vote counts, it’s evident that candidates can no longer afford to oppose a project that receives such strong support from swing voters.
Writing for Real Clear Politics, Consumer Energy Alliance Executive Vice President Michael Whatley predicted that GOP gains in the Senate could be good news for the KXL:
Pipeline backers are already looking towards Election Day hoping to force the White House’s hand in approving Keystone XL. Mitch McConnell, who has proven to be President Obama’s most capable partner in compromise, has laid out a marker that a GOP Senate will vote on Keystone XL.
And according to The Hill: “…the Keystone pipeline will be voted on.”
Bipartisan support in the House and Senate means that the KXL has real chance to move forward for the first time in years. That is, unless, the Obama Administration decides to once again ignore the opinion of American voters and veto pro-Keystone legislation.
By delaying or rejecting the construction of the Keystone pipeline, President Obama is denying the enormous benefits that would result from the project. Here’s what we know about the KXL:
- The pipeline would support 40,000 jobs and immediately create 1,000 much-needed jobs for Union workers, with the possibility for 9,000 more over the next two years of construction.
- The U.S. State Department’s final impact statement on the project confirms that it will be one of the safest pipelines ever built.
- The KXL would carry enough crude to heat 5 million homes at an average of 550 gallons per household.
The clear message from voters on Election Day 2014: energy is a non-partisan issue and it’s time to move forward on the Keystone XL pipeline.