By Brandon Moseley
labama Political Reporter
On Thursday, January, 29 US Senators Richard Shelby (R) and Jeff Sessions (R) both issued written statements following Senate passage of legislation to approve construction of the long delayed Keystone XL pipeline. Both Alabama Senators have long been proponents of the pipeline which would bring oil from newly developed oil sands fields in Canada to oil refineries here in the US.
Senator Sessions said in a written statement, “Senate passage of the Keystone pipeline is a bipartisan affirmation of the need to support American energy jobs and lessen our reliance on foreign oil from unfriendly nations. It will further reduce the power of foreign and domestic oil interests to keep prices high—providing another source of oil for America that will place downward pressure on gasoline prices and advantage our national security interests.”
Senator Shelby said, “Senate Republicans told the American people that our new Majority would focus on policies that get Washington out of the way to create jobs and opportunity. Delivering on our promise, the Senate passed legislation today to approve construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. This common sense project has been unnecessarily blocked by the Obama Administration for far too long, which has led to the delay of tens of thousands of new good-paying jobs across the country. It’s time for President Obama to stop obstructing this job-creating project.”
Sen. Sessions continued, “This commonsense project will create thousands of good-paying jobs, mutually benefit both us and our good friends North in Canada, and set the stage for more and much-needed American energy projects. For the President to veto this bill would be to put the irrational, discredited demands of a few far-left activists over the interests of thousands of American workers.”
Sen. Sessions concluded, “I would also like to applaud our Senate leadership for holding a thorough and open amendment process. This is a dramatic departure from Reid’s dictatorial control of the Senate floor. Both Democrat and Republican Senators have together had more amendment votes this month than Reid allowed in all of 2014. It is the right of every Senator to offer amendments on the floor to amend or improve legislation, and I sincerely hope this open amendment process will be a matter of course for all legislation moving forward.”
On Thursday the Senate voted 62-36 to adopt S. 1, the bill authorizing construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Despite growing bipartisan support for the pipeline which the Obama Administration has delayed for years, President Obama is expected to veto the popular pipeline project, which is opposed by environmental activists who claim that the jobs and economic activity produced by the pipeline are outweighed by the environmental costs.
Senator Richard Shelby recently announced that he would indeed seek reelection in 2016. Senator Jeff Sessions was recently re-elected with no opposition on either the Republican Primary or General Election ballots.