Heidi Heitkamp "Disappointed" Republicans Are Taking Credit For Keystone XL Vote


You’ve got to be kidding me.

The fight over approving the Keystone XL pipeline for crossing the U.S./Canadian border has been on-going for six years. During that time the only obstacle has been a combination of President Barack Obama’s never-ending regulatory scrutiny and the Democrat-controlled Senate.

Now, though, the political winds are blowing in a different direction. In a last ditch effort to save Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu in a run-off election with Republican David Cassidy, Democrats have decided to finally let a Keystone bill come to a vote.

The bill in question is Senator John Hoeven’s bill (the House is debating a duplicate version introduced by Landrieu’s opponent Rep. David Cassidy as I write this). Hoeven has been trying to bring the bill to a vote in the Senate since 2010 when he was first elected to that chamber. Standing in his way?

The Democrat majority.

For Heitkamp to blast Republicans for wanting to take credit for the Keystone pipeline, even as her party only moves to embrace it out of a cynical political consideration, is entirely hypocritical. Not the least because Heitkamp herself voted for to keep one of the chief architects of Keystone obstructionism – Senator Harry Reid – as Majority Leader when she was first elected in 2012.

Heitkamp may have changed her tune of late – she just today voted against Reid as leader of her caucus for the next Congress – but that’s beside the point. Were it not for Democrats, the Keystone pipeline would have been built by now and taking up to 100,000 barrels per day of Bakken oil off of our overcrowded rails and roads.

Democrats aren’t finally allowing a vote on the Keystone pipeline because it’s good policy. They’re allowing a vote because of election year politics.

How much credit do they deserve for that?