Keystone XL Bill Clears First Senate Vote

One of Obama’s complaints in saying he would veto any Keystone XL pipeline legislation was that there was a lawsuit pending in Nebraska. That lawsuit was thrown out a few days ago, leading John Boehner to say “President Obama is now out of excuses for blocking the Keystone pipeline and the thousands of American jobs it would create. Finally, it’s time to start building.”

(AP) Legislation approving construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline cleared an initial Senate hurdle Monday, a victory for newly empowered Republicans angling for a quick veto showdown with President Barack Obama.

The bipartisan 63-32 vote was three more than the 60 required, and well above the level the highly controversial measure ever gained in recent years when Democrats controlled the Senate.

A final vote will be taken this week, then it will be sent to Obama’s desk.

It added that not all the employment would be newly created, though. It said some of the jobs would be “continuity of existing jobs in current or new locations,” a distinction often overlooked by the bill’s supporters.

Once the proposed project opens, it will require “approximately 50 total employees in the United States: 35 permanent employees and 15 temporary contractors,” the State Department estimated.

That’s the way it works in construction. Then the workers move onto other projects. Are 42K jobs for two years a bad thing? The entire Stimulus was set up to create jobs for short term projects, as were the smaller stimulus packages passed by Democrats in 2009 and 2010. Obama constantly talks about infrastructure programs, which, again, would create short term jobs.

Of course, it is interesting that Obama has been touting the rise in domestic oil production, and the huge decrease in gasoline prices. One would think he would want the pipeline, especially since the gasoline price decrease has put some $100 billion into the pockets of Americans, mostly through the gas price decrease. Of course

Zycher, a former UCLA economist who also served on President Reagan’s President’s Council of Economic Advisers, called it “rather disingenuous for the president to take credit for the decline in oil prices and gasoline prices and the increase in incomes generated by increasing production.”

He added: “It’s somewhat amusing. He’s taking credit for an increase in production that has happened largely on private land and had nothing to do with federal government policies.”

The Canadian tar sands oil is going to be transported one way or the other. A pipeline is a lot safer than rail and truck. Fortunately, Canada has waited, rather than moving ahead and sending it to China. If Obama vetoes the legislation, they may not wait any longer.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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