Another attempt to revive the Keystone XL pipeline zombie failed in the Senate today, despite a massive lobbying campaign from Big Oil to force approval of the project.
The fossil fuel industry was so convinced that their bribery was going to pay off, that minutes after the vote in the Senate, industry front group, the American Petroleum Institute, sent out a press release celebrating that Sen. John Hoeven’s amendment to approve the pipeline had passed.
“Bipartisan Senate majority approves building Keystone XL pipeline” crowed the title of the release, which went on to congratulate the Senate for taking a “bold step” in approving the project.
One small problem. The amendment actually failed.
API quickly realized their mistake and a few minutes later, sent out a corrected version of the press release, deleting the title that mentioned the legislation and making the quick edit of “tried to take the bold step” in approving the project. Whoops.
Make no mistake, this vote was close. But remember, just four months ago, a poll of 300 “energy insiders” still found 97% predicting that Keystone XL would get its permit. For now, that prediction has come remarkably untrue. TransCanada can of course re-apply, but that will be another battle, down the road. For now, people power (the largest civil disobedience action in 30 years, 800,000 messages to the Senate in a single day, bodies encircling the White House shoulder to shoulder five deep) overturned the odds — and made Big Oil eat their words.