- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Sen. Mary Landrieu said Wednesday that the escalating unrest in Iraq is more evidence that the United States should approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

Facing a tough re-election battle, Mrs. Landrieu, chair of the Senate Energy Committee, said the pipeline will allow the country to import more oil from Canada and become less reliant on the Middle East and nations like Venezuela.

“This refinery is under attack as we speak,” the Louisiana Democrat said before pointing to photograph of an oil-production facility in Iraq. “I think the people that I represent, most of the people in the United States, would rather get the oil from Canada, which is a peaceful, secure and friendly ally then having to involve ourselves in issues that are sometimes way beyond our ability to control.”

The committee planned to hold a vote on the project on Wednesday.
Mrs. Landrieu has long supported the pipeline, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has blocked efforts to hold a vote on its approval.
That has opened Mrs. Landrieu up to attacks from Republicans, who say the expected committee vote was for show and meant to provider her some cover.

Before the committee meeting, National Republican Senatorial Committee made the case once again that the the thing that Mrs. Landrieu touts as one of her greatest strengths — her energy committee chairmanship — actually exposes one of her greatest weaknesses — that she cannot get Democratic leaders to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

“For months, Mary Landrieu has touted her ‘clout’ as Energy chair, but as it turns out, Landrieu isn’t influential at all,” NRSC Press Secretary Brook Hougesen said. “Mary Landrieu’s very presence in the Senate enables Harry Reid and Barack Obama to block the Keystone Pipeline and wage a war on energy development in Louisiana and across America.”

Rep. Bill Cassidy and retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness are also running for the seat.