Keystone XL hits snag in Senate

Senate votes against expediting pipeline project

Following a personal appeal from President Obama, the Senate voted against a bill that would have expedited TransCanada‘s Keystone XL pipeline project.

The president made phone calls to Democratic senators the night before the vote, held on March 8, to lobby against Republican legislation that would have sped up the application process for the Canadian oil firm’s pipeline, according to the Washington Post. The amendment would have allowed TransCanada to cross the U.S.-Canadian border without a federal permit, which Obama denied in January, saying he would not grant such a permit unless the company developed an alternative route that would not cross the environmentally sensitive Sandhills area in Nebraska.

Obama has drawn much criticism from Republicans in favor of exploiting sources of traditional oil and gas resources to their maximum potential, while Democratic leaders and environmentalists believe construction of the Keystone XL would undermine the importance of promoting renewable energy.