The Norman Transcript

State/Region

April 30, 2014

Pipeline supporters seek vote

WASHINGTON — In a struggle steeped in election-year politics, supporters of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline are seeking a swift Senate vote on legislation to approve construction of the project that environmentalists oppose strongly and the Obama administration has delayed indefinitely.

Pipeline advocates in the Senate, who include several Democrats on the ballot next fall as well as Republicans, hold a clear majority. They also may command more than the 60 votes needed to overcome blocking tactics by opponents, but they appear to be short of the two-thirds majority that would be needed to override any veto by President Barack Obama.

“I will press hard for a vote in the coming weeks to build this pipeline,” Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., the chair of the Senate Energy Committee, said this week in a statement as lawmakers returned from a two-week break. Landrieu and Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, another pipeline supporter, stand accused by Republicans of being powerless to mandate the project’s construction, given the numerous delays Obama has ordered without rendering a decision.

In addition, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., faces pressure from Republicans to permit a vote on the project, with the Senate expected to debate energy-efficiency legislation in the next few days.

Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota said he and other Republicans want the issue voted on either as a part of the energy-efficiency legislation or shortly afterward as a stand-alone bill. He said rank-and-file Republicans have “taken a very strong position” that one or the other must occur.

Aides said no decision had been made, but Reid said he had met in the last 24 hours with both Landrieu and Hoeven and left open the possibility of permitting a pipeline vote. “I’m open to anything that will move energy efficiency,” he said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State/Region
  • Board votes to delay plan

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s State Board of Education voted on Wednesday for a second time to delay a formal plan for adopting new education standards in math and English amid opposition to the proposal from three education groups that ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Sentencing delayed for Oklahoma tea party leader

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Formal sentencing for the co-founder of the Sooner Tea Party on felony blackmail and computer crimes convictions has been delayed....

    July 23, 2014

  • Heat advisory issued for much of Oklahoma

    TULSA — The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory through late today for much of the state as stifling heat and humidity continue to affect Oklahoma this week....

    July 23, 2014

  • 34 OSBI agents graduate investigative academy

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Thirty-four agents are graduating from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Advanced Investigative Academy....

    July 23, 2014

  • Okla. legislator doctor wants minors quarantined

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A state lawmaker who is one of two doctors in the Oklahoma Legislature is insisting that unaccompanied immigrant minors being housed at Fort Sill be quarantined....

    July 23, 2014

  • Common Core repeal has state teachers worried about instruction

    OKLAHOMA CITY — With the Legislature’s repeal of tough, new English and math standards known as Common Core, education leaders said they’re concerned Oklahoma students will fall further behind their counterparts in more than 40 states ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Highway Patrol sees spike in number of applicants

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Two bills that passed the Legislature this past spring have sparked an increase in the number of applicants to join the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, officials said....

    July 20, 2014

  • 1M visit Okla. parks

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A new report from the National Parks Service shows that more than 1 million people visited Oklahoma’s national parks in 2013 and spent $17.2 million. Oklahoma has thee national parks: Washita Battlefield National Historic ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Unemployment rate falls to 4.5 percent

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma unemployment rate was down one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.5 percent in June. The figures released Friday by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission show that while the number of Oklahomans without a ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Gay Marriage Oklahoma Court reverses ban on gay marriage

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A federal appeals court rulied Friday that Oklahoma’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, spurring celebration among gay rights activists but sparking sharp anger among Republican leaders in a conservative state that ...

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo