But four Senate Republicans side with Obama.
All but four Senate Republicans today backed an upper-chamber plan to undo President Obama’s rejection of a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline and immediately begin construction of the $7 billion link between Canada’s oil sands and Gulf Coast refineries.
The introduction of a new Senate bill expediting the XL line, which Obama denied a permit on Jan. 18, gives that chamber two parallel paths to keep the project in the public eye this spring. Today’s legislation, authored by Sens. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.), would replace the executive order that empowered the State Department to review and ultimately urge a veto of the pipeline with a go-ahead from the legislative branch. One Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, has signed on as a co-sponsor.
“It will create thousands of jobs, help control fuel prices at the pump and reduce our reliance on Middle East oil, and it can be accomplished with congressional authority, just as the [Trans-]Alaska Pipeline was nearly 40 years ago,” Hoeven said in a statement on the measure…
The four Republicans who declined to sign on as original co-sponsors of the pipeline bill are Scott Brown of Massachusetts, who faces a tough re-election battle this fall; Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine; and Mark Kirk of Illinois.
Sen. Kirk, who recently suffered a stroke, was one of eight Republican House members to vote in favor of the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill.
Sens. Brown, Snowe and Collins are all RINOs.