January 12, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, announced today that he will vote to allow debate on the Keystone XL pipeline bill currently pending in the Senate. King remains opposed to the bill, however, which he voted against in committee last week and during the last Congress. He issued the following statement:
“I cannot justify supporting legislation that circumvents an established and long-standing process of Presidential-approval in order to issue a construction permit for a private company – especially when the project will facilitate the transport of some of the world's dirtiest and most climate-harming oil through our country. Further, it appears likely that this oil will be exported overseas and the project will result in fewer long-term jobs than a new McDonalds,” Senator King said. “However, I believe there should be a full debate of the bill, including an open and fair amendment process, which is why I will vote to allow the bill to be considered in the Senate. The American people deserve to know the many reasons why this legislation is not in the best interest of our country.”
Senator King today will vote in favor of a procedural motion – formally known as a cloture motion – that, if achieved, will then allow the Senate to proceed to consideration and debate of the Keystone XL pipeline legislation, and initiate the process for introducing and voting on amendments. The cloture rule is the only formal procedure that Senate rules provide for breaking a filibuster, which is an attempt to block or delay Senate action on a bill, and requires 60 votes. It is not an endorsement of the underlying legislation. A final vote on the underlying Keystone XL legislation will occur at a later date yet to be determined.