- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A bill to authorize the long-stalled Keystone XL oil pipeline will be the first business taken up next year by the Republican-run Senate, incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday.

“We’ll be starting next year with a jobs-creation bill that enjoys significant bipartisan support,” Mr. McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said of the cross-country pipeline to carry oil from Canada to refineries on Texas’ Gulf Coast.

Supporters of the pipeline say that building it will create thousands of construction jobs and energy industry jobs.

The Obama administration has delayed approval of the project to appease environmentalists, who object to potential threat oil spills and more greenhouse gasses.

Last month, Senate Democrats filibustered a bill that would have approved the pipeline. despite the bill being pushed by Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat who hoped to get the legislation passed to help her facing a tough reelection contest against Republican Bill Cassidy. Ms. Landrieu ultimately lost the race.

In announcing the bill, Mr. McConnell took a parting shot at outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, whom Mr. McConnell has criticized for exerting tight control over the legislative process and blocking senators from offering amendments on bills.

“Senators on both sides will offer energy-related amendments. There will be no effort to try to micromanage the amendment process,” he said. “And we’ll move forward and hopefully be able to pass a very important job-creation bill early next year.”

 

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