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Entire Alabama delegation bucks Obama, votes to build Keystone Pipeline


WASHINGTON — It isn’t often all nine of Alabama’s Congressional delegates—7 members of the House and 2 Senators—agree on something, but they’re all on the same page when it comes to building the Keystone Pipeline.

Terri Sewell (D-AL7), the state’s only Democrat in Congress, bucked her Party’s leadership — including the White House — to vote with her Alabama colleagues. She was one of only 31 House Democrats to do so.

Thursday afternoon the Senate voted 62-36 to approve the pipeline, and once the Senate amendments are approved by the House it will land on President Obama’s desk, where he has repeatedly threatened a veto.

The Keystone XL Pipeline is phase 4 of an existing pipeline, and its status has been languishing for the last several years as the Obama administration has refused to approve its completion, citing environmental concerns. Keystone XL would have the ability to transport up to 800,000 barrels of heavy crude oil across the United States every day from oil fields as far north as Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast. Supporters estimate building the pipeline could provide as many as 42,000 jobs.

Earlier this month at a town hall meeting in Bessemer, Rep. Sewell explained her decision to vote for the pipeline. “I have pipefitters and electricians in my district that are going to get good-paying jobs because of that,” she said, indicating that U.S. Steel’s pipe-building operations in Alabama would benefit directly. “Those good-paying jobs need to stick around.”

Rep. Sewell added that she supports an “all of the above” energy policy which she said is “the best approach to achieving true energy independence while spurring critical job creation.”

The White House maintains its veto threat despite the successful bipartisan passage of the Keystone authorization.

“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,” said Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions. “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.”

The administration was expected to make a decision on the pipeline by February 2nd, but Thursday’s vote may force the President’s hand to act before the weekend.

After six years of decrying an obstructionist Congress, the Obama administration now finds themselves having to decide between signing the bi-partisan bill on the President’s desk and acquiescing to the leftwing environmentalist wing of Democratic Party.

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