PHOTO Courtesy: Frank Waln
WASHINGTON—The United States Senate on Monday afternoon, January 12, 2015, voted to kick off the Keystone XL pipeline debate with a 63 – 32 vote. The House of Representatives voted in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline last Friday. A final Senate vote is expected to take place later this week.
The Keystone XL pipeline project is a 1700 mile long crude oil pipeline that would transport between 700,000 to 900,000 barrels of crude oil per day. This pipeline is planned to extend from Alberta, Canada and pass through the states of Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas on its way to the Gulf of Mexico for storage and export overseas.
The proposed pipeline coming down through the Plains states has caused great concern American Indians, particularly among the Lakota in South Dakota. TransCanada’s proposed pipeline route is right though the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations. It will cross the Oglala Sioux Rural Water Supply System in two places.
The proposed Keystone XL pipeline bill attempts to take away the authority of President Barack Obama to make a short decision.
President Obama vowed last week to veto the Keystone XL pipeline. After Monday’s vote, Democrats remain confident there will be not enough support to garner the two-thirds of the Senate to overturn a presidential veto.